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Hardscrabble Scramble
January 1998 Article

Hardscrabble Scramble Archive

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Height For Depth

Mike Whittington Photo
Mike Whittington

How do you get your shots to be deeper and more penetrating? Many players try to just hit the same shot harder. Increasing the swing speed may get you more depth but it may also increase your number of errors. Power does play a big part in todays game but there is a time and place for it.

If you are wanting to add some depth to your shots to get your opponent on the defensive, try the same shot with a little more net clearance. Pick a window above the net and try to hit your groundies through it - maybe 4 to 7 feet depending on the pace and spin you have on the ball. Many times in lessons when I suggest to a student to hit the ball deeper, the player tries to hit harder. With a lower backswing and higher follow through we get the same result without the tendency to force an error. If your opponent is at the baseline and not looking to crunch the high volley, there is probably no reason for a ball to barely clear the net unless you are trying to purposely hit a short ball.

You might find that your normal shot just with a little added height can really give your opponents fits. So remember to try to hit the ball higher rather than harder and see if you don't get that extra punch your game has been missing!

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Hardscrabble Scramble Archive

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This column is copyrighted by Mike Whittington, all rights reserved.

At the time at which he wrote this column, Mike Whittington was a USPTA pro in Fort Smith, Arkansas, where he served as director of tennis at the Hardscrabble Country Club.


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