If I watch the ball, how can I aim the ball well?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by enwar3, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. enwar3

    enwar3 Rookie

    Jun 30, 2007
    Whenever I try to watch the ball, I have a hard time 1. knowing where my opponent is and 2. aiming the ball to where it should go. It tends to just fly over the net, but not always where I'm expecting it to. Anything to help fix this?
  2. Mr. Hokey

    Mr. Hokey Rookie

    May 14, 2006
    with experience you get court awareness... you'll be able to send the ball where you want by knowing where the court is. its better to develop consistent and controlled strokes now, and worry about trying to move the ball around later.
  3. koopa_troopa

    koopa_troopa Rookie

    Aug 15, 2007
    1. It only takes an instant to know where your opponent is and where the openings are. But don't worry about this, I'm sure you will automatically learn how to do this with experience.

    2. The real important thing about aiming is that it just depends on your racquet angle. You have to adjust your angle to aim. I don't see why you would have trouble with this just because you are looking at the ball? I think you just need more practice aiming. Have you every tried playing 'mini tennis'? Its where you play with an opponent service line to service line. The goal of this is the keep the ball in play and develop strong control over the ball, with less emphasis on power. Try it, and practice directing shots at five places: Far left, far right, opponents backhand, forehand, and body. It also helps if your opponent has good control and can keep the ball in.

    Good luck
  4. kingkong

    kingkong Banned

    Aug 16, 2007
    the sooner you iht the ball the more crosscourt it goes, the later you iht it the more inside out it goes.
  5. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

    Jul 18, 2007
    Washington, DC
    not watching the ball into your strings / looking where you want to hit will make it much more difficult to "aim your shot." a consistent point of contact + hitting the ball clean is what allows you to control your placement.
  6. Mountain Ghost

    Mountain Ghost Semi-Pro

    Jan 31, 2007
    Aiming the Ball

    I notice you speak of being focused on your opponent, the ball and where you want to hit it, but no mention of your preparation. A lot of what makes a successful game DOES NOT happen in FRONT of you.

    While still watching the ball, put part of your attention on making sure your racquet head is getting fully back and down to the SAME place before EVERY stroke. A consistent stroke starts with a consistent backswing.

    Last edited: Aug 19, 2007
  7. dacrymn

    dacrymn Professional

    Sep 3, 2006
    Well, for one thing, you should know where the ball is going before you swing for it. You sound like you're trying to aim the shot with your swing. It's actually ball toss, positioning, etc, and as MG said, the swing/backswing should always be the same.
  8. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

    Jun 24, 2006
    Obviously, one can say the opposite. If you don't watch the ball, how can you aim it (or even hit it).

    Let's start from the beginning. You hit the ball- hit it wit a definite purpous and placement in mind. Watch the ball as it arcs across the net and mentally note how close you cam to your ideal intention. As the ball is in flight you are also noting how the opponent is setting up to hit the ball, where they are on the court and where he/she will most likely place it (based on a number of factors that become second-nature as you gain experience).

    Then you must watch the ball as it flys back to your side. You are reacting to get into proper position based on the ball's angle, spin, speed, and height over the net (mostly we do this without thinking).

    Still watching the ball, you stroke through it as before, with a definite purpous to a definite location, placing spin on the ball or hitting it flat down the line or cross-court (or any number of options) based on your court-sense and where things stood a couple mili-seconds ago.
  9. Swissv2

    Swissv2 Hall of Fame

    Oct 19, 2005
    Tennis Courts!
    you must blindfold yourself to sense the court, cricket! :p

    But seriously...once you hit enough you can pretty much feel if the ball is in or out, going left or right, just by hitting it.
  10. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

    Jun 11, 2007
    You Know

    You know where your opponent was when he hit it. You also know in which direction he will be moving to recover his position. Therefore, hit your next shot to a place that minimizes the chance that he will hit an aggressive return. If you muck it up, then you know you need to practice your shots more.
  11. blitzmage_89

    blitzmage_89 Rookie

    Jul 29, 2007
    a ball hit earlier will go the opposite side of your dominant hand. As for me I would usually turn my body and hit a linear groundstroke when a precision shot is needed
  12. Serve em Up

    Serve em Up Rookie

    Mar 14, 2007
    Play Blinfolded!

    "Use the Force Luke!!!"
  13. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

    Dec 11, 2005
    1. It is more important to hit the ball IN the court, than at a specific point. Aiming for a specific point is good, but is more the undoing of lower level players than simply returning the ball IN the court. This is helpful for almost everyone at all levels, but is most helpful for those under 5.0, IMHO.

    2. Assuming 1 above, most players would be better off making an early decision on placement, rather than trying to make a last millisecond adjustment based upon where their peripheral vision is telling them their opponent MIGHT go or be.

    3. Always focus on the ball when hitting. You will not see the hit, but focusing keeps the head still and helps you to work on the fundamentals of your setup. See Bagumbawalla's post above.

    Good luck!

    Last edited: Aug 20, 2007

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