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February 2018 Article

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Common Tennis Tips That Can Help Anyone

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John Mills, USPTA

These are very simple tennis tips that can help anyone's game.

  • On the soft floating volley coming to you: Set it -- Float it -- Pull It -- Walk it!
    Set the racket out in front and get it still. Set your racket in the path of the approaching ball. Next, pump or lift the racket slightly higher than the ball. Then pull your racket under and through the ball.

  • When receiving a speeding ball coming at you, walking your body forward helps the ball stay out of the net: Set it -- Lock it -- Block it -- Walk it.
    Set the racket in the path of the speeding ball. Lock your wrist. Block the ball and do not swing! Walking your body forward helps stop the racket from twisting or torqueing.

  • On the half volley, the ball that falls right at your feet when you are on the way to the net: Forward -- Down -- Up.
    You are coming to the net to volley, but the ball coming to you drops right at your feet. Move your racket forward, like a sword fighter, and then drop your racket down as if to trap or suffocate the bounce of the ball. Lastly, let the racket travel up to hit the ball over and regain your "ready position." If you are having trouble with your half volley, say "Bounce" out loud when the ball bounces and say "Hit" out loud when it strikes your strings. The closer these two words are when you are saying them, the better your half volley gets.

Good luck on the Courts!

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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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