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July 2016 Article

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Move Forward

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John Mills, USPTA

When in doubt, move forward! How many times have you played a point, lost it and felt like all you did was watch? This is very common. These are a few tips that may help you:

  • Try to make yourself move forward toward the ball coming to you. You will use your mass weight better. Start moving toward the ball while the ball is still on your opponent's side of the net. On the groundstroke try to move toward the bounce of the ball and on the volley move to a point where your opponent's ball intersects the net.

  • At the net, stand where you can cover the lob. Remember, it's much easier to move forward than backwards.

  • When playing doubles and all players are near the net, try to move in a little, taking small steps every time your partner hits the ball. That way, if the ball comes back to you, you will feel like you are already in the point. Remember once you are moving forward, it is easier to accelerate.

  • Whenever you or your partner hits a shot that puts your opponents in trouble, move forward. Attack and move forward.

  • In doubles, when you hit a good lob over your opponent's head, move forward to control the net and the possible lob return with an overhead.

  • Always say, "Good things happen when I move forward."

  • Try to move forward to the ball on the rise. It is easier to hit harder when you take the ball earlier. Also, it gives your opponent less time.

  • Players moving forward look like they are trying to force and win the point.

Good luck on the Court!
 

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This column is copyrighted by John Mills, all rights reserved.

John Mills currently teaches tennis at the University of Houston, Clear Lake campus. John Mills' experience includes four years as head pro at the Windemere Racquet & Swim Club, where he was responsible for organization of all tennis activities at the club. John also played college tennis at the University of Houston and has spent 20 years teaching tennis at the Memorial Park Tennis Center, the Pasadena Racquet Club, and as the head pro at the Bay Area Racquet Club.


 

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