Have you ever had one of those days when everything seemed
to be just perfect? Chances are you were hitting most balls
right in your hitting zone. What is your hitting zone?
Your hitting zone is that ideal place that you feel most
comfortable hitting a tennis ball. For most people that is
waist high but some like balls slightly lower or slightly
A few of my previous articles have discussed footwork. On
those days that you are on fire, hitting the ball in your
hitting zone, I bet you are moving your feet well. Small
adjusting steps help you get into place and "set up" for
your shots. When you are hitting the ball poorly your
swing might be fine but you could be having a difficult
time getting balls into your hitting zone. This could be
a result of poor footwork.
Very few people enjoy hitting high backhands. In fact,
hitting them from the baseline might be one of the more
difficult shots in tennis. Rather than hit this shot
repeatedly in a match, it would be a good idea to think
of moving your feet so that you take the ball on the
rise or move way back and let the ball drop. Either
way your goal is to hit more balls in your hitting zone
rather than in an uncomfortable position. Of course,
you still need to know how to hit those high backhands
but you should try to avoid them as often as possible.
If you watch tour players you will notice that they take
many balls on the rise. This can be a little more
difficult to time for the average player but for the tour
player it helps them to hit more shots in their hitting
zone. I once read that golfer Greg Norman felt deadly
accurate from 125 yards. He positioned most of his
drives so that he had that 125 yard shot into the green.
A tennis player does a similar action by moving his/her
feet. The idea is to get into position and hit the shot
you want to hit rather than the shot your opponent forces
you to hit. This means good footwork and taking more
balls into your hitting zone.
Spend some time finding the ideal height for your best
shots. Then play a few sets and think about getting into
position to hit those shots. I think you'll find that you
will feel much more in control with just a little more
footwork and thought.