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Hardscrabble Scramble
March 1999 Article

Hardscrabble Scramble Archive

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To Step Or Not To Step

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Mike Whittington

Do you step into the court when you serve? This is a question that comes up often in lessons. Is a player supposed to step into the court after he/she makes contact with the ball? Thinking about what you are doing with your feet while you are hitting the shot can really mess up the serve itself. However, my opinion is that you should step into the court when serving. So how do you step into the court without thinking about it?

If you throw your toss out in front of you and reach for it, you should automatically fall into the court. So rather than thinking about your toss, swing, and step, if you get your toss in the right spot it will take care of the other issues. You really don't have to think about stepping in at all. By getting your toss into the court and falling forward you will increase your weight transfer forward. This, combined with an increased swing speed, can help add power to your serve. Keeping your foot behind the baseline restricts your hip rotation and keeps you from gaining that extra power.

Just try to get the toss in the right spot in front of you and then go after it. Being relaxed is one of the keys to having a good serve and it allows for fluid movement of the arms and trunk. So if to step or not to step is your question, then my answer is yes -- but let it come naturally from a good ball toss.

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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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