reading the ball

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by na2b, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. na2b

    na2b New User

    Apr 14, 2006
    I have only been playing for about a year and I notice that I often have trouble reading the ball, like where its going to go and stuff like that. I was hitting with this guy who hits balls really flat and when I hit the ball, it usually goes out or catch the net. I think it's because I'm having trouble adjusting to how he's playing, especially because I haven't played with him before, and because of my lack of ability to read balls.

    Any advice on how to make it easier for me? (not just to read flat balls, but other balls as well)
  2. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

    Jun 24, 2006
    True, some people with certain hitting styles are harder to read than others.

    There is no "easy" fix to the problem.

    1. As you gain experience, you will begin to pick up on more subtle clues.

    2. You must learn to keep pressure on the opponent, keep him or her back where they have fewer options. Hit each of your shots with a particular purpose. Try not to let yourself be caught out of position.
  3. Koaske

    Koaske Rookie

    Jul 21, 2005
    Are you sure that your timing isn't the problem here? Try taking the racket back quite early. If your racket is back by the time the ball flies over the net, your timing should be better.
  4. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

    Aug 9, 2004
    king size donut bed
    Try read how fast the player swing his racket and try read the swing path. And get set as early as possible.
  5. e.martin

    e.martin New User

    Aug 14, 2006
    See if your public library system has this video: High-Percentage Tennis.

    If you're playing someone consistently good, usually they'll play the high-percentage shots (either consciously or unconsciously because these shots are natural). Of course, if they're consistently good, then expect them to also hit low-percentage shots. But if you know what the high-percentage shots are, you'll know where to expect the ball.

    For example, your right-handed opponent hits crosscourt from his deuce side to your deuce side. Your high-percentage shot would be to return it crosscourt back to his deuce side. With the forehand, this is a natural shot. You would expect him to do the same back to you because again it's his high-percentage shot. Therefore you'd stay where you are. On and on until someone changes ball direction or hits a winner. Same for backhand.

    The high-percentage shot is to always hit the ball crosscourt because the net is lowest in the center and thus you have more clearance.

    If he hits down the line to your backhand on your ad side, your high-percentage shot is to return it crosscourt, with your backhand, to his ad side. For the backhand, this is a natural shot and feels good when you nail it. Thus you are changing direction of the ball (he hit it down the line but you are returning it crosscourt).

    In the same way, if he hits down the line to your forehand on your deuce side, you change ball direction by returning it crosscourt to his deuce side.

    Knowing the general high-percentage guidelines will give you an idea where to expect the ball. The video talks about high-percentage shots for groundstrokes, approach shots, volleys, etc.

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