I often hear players on return of serve say, "I missed, I
should have followed through." Does the follow-through make
the ball go in the court? If you have read my material you
will know the answer to that question is no! The racket face
placed on the ball properly is what makes the ball go in the
court, not the follow-through. The other day I was giving a
lesson when my student missed and said, "I need to follow
through." I said, "You need to follow through, but that does
not make the ball go in the court." She said, "Well, then
what in the world am I following through for?!"
The follow-through is to add topspin to the ball and can add
power to a shot. Adding topspin can help bring the ball into
the court, but the upward follow-through for topspin does not
make the ball go in the court. Again, the position of the
racket face does. You could have a beautiful follow-through
with exceptional topspin, but if the racket face is too open
the ball will sail out-of-bounds. On the other hand, if you
return serve with no follow-through, but the racket face is
correct, the ball will land in the court! Haven't you ever
seen a pro return serve with just a block shot?
Now, should you eliminate your follow-through? Of course not!
You should continue to follow through on your strokes, but if
at times you have to block the ball to get it back...so be it!
This is all part of the game.
CAUTION! DO NOT READ BEYOND THIS POINT IF YOU CANNOT HANDLE THE TRUTH.
Stop blaming your mistakes in a match on no follow-through, no
knee bend, or any lack of technical skill. Instead, blame yourself
for not practicing with massive repetition so that when the time
comes you will understand how to place the racket face so well
that you can hit the ball with DIFFERENT strokes and from
DIFFERENT positions on the court! Repetition is the chariot of