Student over-running the ball: help

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by lude popper, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. lude popper

    lude popper Banned

    Jan 14, 2005
    Key West!
    I have a student who perpetually over-runs the ball and gets cramped and handcuffed, making contact too close to body. We've worked on small adjustment steps, early preparation and adequate shoulder turn.

    any tricks to get people not to over-run the ball?
  2. enk

    enk New User

    May 18, 2005
    I believe the first thing to do is to MAKE THEM REALIZE that they are over running. Telling them is not much use most of the time.

    I would feed some balls and have them try this:

    1. Same swing but deliberately miss the ball. Go as close as possible to hitting the ball on the frame. If they are use to over running, they will now have to stop earlier just to accomplish this task.

    2. When they can do 1, I'll tell them to observe the distance between them and the ball.

    3. Next, I'll have then to try and make contact while maintaining this distance.

    By going over and under the 'correct' distance on their own, they would soon discover the right distance themselves.
  3. lude popper

    lude popper Banned

    Jan 14, 2005
    Key West!
    thanks, will do!
  4. Kana Himezaki

    Kana Himezaki Semi-Pro

    May 18, 2005
    Enk, good post. ^^

    Also, if they're overrunning the ball, it'd seem like they're taking TOO big a step. Get them to shorten it down. Try simple crossover steps, you might be able to incorporate it in doing crossover/sidestepping across the lines in a warm up. Start with those, and try to get them to do shuffle steps as they get closer to the ball and are adjusting.

    Also for balls, you can try getting them to do a four step pattern into balls. Or with the shuffle steps, force a simple drill about simply doing shuffle steps and CATCHING the ball. This way they have to slow down to get into ideal catching position.

    Try what Enk posted on first. Students tend to like fixing their problems theirselves, and sometimes get frustrated when you point it out and attempt to change them.
  5. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

    Nov 19, 2004
    Cocos Islands, WA
    Tie their shoe laces together. Feed them balls.
  6. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Legend

    Jan 18, 2005
    A green and pleasant land
    Tell them not to get too close to the ball!
  7. Kathy

    Kathy Rookie

    Aug 7, 2004
    This is similar to Enk's method, but simpler.

    Ask him where his racket head usually is when he contacts the ball. He won't know. He will want you to tell him where his racket head usually is when he contacts the ball, but don't.

    Then he will want you tell him where the racket head should be at the point of contact. But don't you dare tell him that either.

    Whatever you do, don't act as though there is a right place for the racket head to be at impact. Just be like a dog with a bone about finding out where his racket head usually IS at contact. Make HIM find out. Make him hit for awhile till he can tell you the answer.

    Then watch as he magically stops overruning the ball.

    Why? Because you focussed his attention where it belongs. So, he becomes aware of how close he is to the ball, and, without even consciously trying to, automatically adjusts.

    All without one instruction.

    This happens and he suddenly starts hitting and grooving beautiful shots because his mind is quiet. The brain collects much more information about a shot when the mind is quiet (= not creating static interference and stealing brainpower for conscious thinking). The brain also remebers much more about a shot when the mind is quiet. So, he's both sensing things and remembering (learning) much better now. Naturally.

    He's just hitting his shots, not thinking about how to hit them, while he hits them. And he isn't being distracted while hitting by your voice in his head saying, "You're getting too close to the ball. You got too close to the ball. Watch the ball. Stay farther away from the ball."

    Of couse you're not saying that out loud, but you might as well be if you don't make sure he can't think those thoughts. That's because, if you tell him what he does and should do, he internalizes your voice and it becomes his thoughts. The next thing you know he has that voice in his head calling him a clutz.

    So, the trick is keeping out of his head so Natural Learning can occur.

    This method won't show off how much you know. It doesn't even take an expert. But it works. It really, really works. It's Tim Gallwey's Inner Game of Tennis Method. It really, really works.
  8. msn

    msn New User

    Mar 7, 2004
    just for laughs, maybe try the following:

    have him stand on the centerline and feed him medium paced balls right at him.

    he will have to step away and set up properly to establish a good distance from the ball. It should give him a good feel for targeting the ball into his strike zone without all the running and extraneous movement distracting them.

    When he starts to hit the ball clean, then have him move towards balls, slowly increasing the the steps he has to take...

    my 2c.

  9. snowpuppy

    snowpuppy Semi-Pro

    Aug 5, 2004
  10. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Feb 19, 2004
    All great tips above. Sometimes a player does this because they are running to where the ball will bounce instead of where they should make contact.

    Try video taping the player and show them what you are talking about. It is amazing to see how fast a player changes a bad habit once they see themselves do it.

    Your student might be fully aware that they are overrunning the ball but when they are moving to hit the ball they forget. Show them a video of themselves and the brain will begin making the correction.

    Another thing to do is to use a line on the court like the doubles alley or something. Feed balls to them in such a way that they can make a good stroke to hit the ball. But their feet can not extend or go past this imaginary or real line. I would suggest doing this with a slow feed so the brain is not overloaded with other duties.

    You can use the distance of the doubles alley to educate the player on proper distance from the ball.

    Also, I find players that tend to overrun the ball are very quick. But they dont get moving until the ball is almost going to bounce on their side. This forces them to get on their high horse and go! But the problem is they keep going and jam themselves. Work on anticipation and early movement skills as well.

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