nodot nodot
Tennis Warrior
May 2014 Article

Tennis Warrior Archive

Send a message to Tom

Get Tom Veneziano's book The Truth about Winning! at Amazon.com

Tennis Server

Do You Want To Be A Better Tennis Player?

Then Sign Up For A Free Subscription to the Tennis Server INTERACTIVE
E-mail Newsletter!

Tom Veneziano You will join 13,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano.
Best of all, it is free!

Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
WILD CARDS - Each month a guest column by a new writer.
BETWEEN THE LINES - Ray Bowers takes an analytical and sometimes controversial look at the ATP/WTA professional tour.
PRO TENNIS SHOWCASE - Tennis match reports and photography from around the world.
TENNIS SET - Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D. looks at tennis science, engineering and technology.
MORTAL TENNIS - Greg Moran's tennis archive on how regular humans can play better tennis.
HARDSCRABBLE SCRAMBLE - USPTA pro Mike Whittington's player tip archive.

Tennis Community Icon TENNIS COMMUNITY:

Tennis Book, DVD, and Video Index
Tennis Server Match Reports
Editor's Letter
Become a Tennis Server Sponsor

Explore The Tennis Net Icon EXPLORE THE TENNIS NET:

Tennis News and Live Tennis Scores
Tennis Links on the Web
Tennis Warrior Banner

Green Dot
Tennis Warehouse Logo
Green Dot


The Racket-Back Myth

Tom Veneziano Photo
Tom Veneziano

On your groundstrokes, should you take the racket back as soon as the ball is coming to you? Absolutely not! Stop thinking about jamming the racket back when the ball is coming to you. This is too mechanical and robot-like. You must learn to be more instinctive and automatic. How? Take the racket back when you are about to hit the ball, not while you are running to hit the ball. Taking the racket back too soon is unnatural and is not compatible with the principles of timing and rhythm.
Do you think I have gone wacky? Not so! At least not in the way you think. Here is another question for you. Have you ever seen a pro take his racket back, then proceed to run with the racket hanging behind him? Watch the pros the next time and see what you think.
You will be surprised to discover the racket goes back as they are about to hit. They may have a slight turn in the direction they are running, but the full swing begins when they are about to hit. If I were you, I would forget about even thinking about taking the racket back. Let it happen naturally as you approach the ball. It is time to begin playing more like a pro. Do not fall for the rigid, conventional method of taking the racket back like a robot. I'm not sure where this came from, but it's a myth. It does not hold up under true playing application.
One of the reasons the pros take the racket back later than you would have expected is because it is more natural to run to meet the ball with the racket in front of you rather than behind. The pros may take a slight turn in the direction of the ball, but the racket does not go all the way back until they are ready to hit the ball. I usually demonstrate to my students how silly it looks to run to meet the ball with the racket behind. Then I ask if they have ever seen a pro look like that. They usually laugh. You can click here to watch a short video from one of my tennis clinics years ago:
Tennis Video from Tom Veneziano - Don't Take the Racket Back!
Another reason the pros wait to take the racket back is because the backswing is part of the timing and rhythm of hitting the ball. If the racket is back too soon they will lose the rhythm and feel of the shot and become too mechanical.
The lesson here is to not take the racket back too soon. Wait until you are near the ball and about to swing. As I said earlier, if I were you I would not even think about taking the racket back. Just let it happen naturally. The more you practice letting the racket go back naturally, the better your timing and rhythm will become. Do not fall prey to the myth of taking the racket back too soon.

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Tennis Warrior Archive

If you have not already signed up to receive our free e-mail newsletter Tennis Server INTERACTIVE, you can sign up here. You will receive notification each month of changes at the Tennis Server and news of new columns posted on our site.

This column is copyrighted by Tom Veneziano, all rights reserved.

Tom is a tennis pro teaching at the Piney Point Racquet Club in Houston, Texas. Tom has taught thousands of players to think like a pro with his Tennis Warrior System.


In Tom Veneziano's book "The Truth about Winning!", tennis players learn in a step-by-step fashion the thinking the pros have mastered to win! Tom takes you Step-by-step from basic mental toughness to advanced mental toughness. All skill levels can learn from this unique book from beginner to professional. No need to change your strokes just your thinking.

Audio CDs by Tom Veneziano:


Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
Australian Open Tickets
Dallas Open Tickets
Delray Beach Open Tickets
ATX Open Tickets
Mexican Open Tickets
BNP Paribas Open Tickets
Miami Open Tickets
Credit One Charleston Open Tickets
US Men's Clay Court Championships Tickets
Wimbledon Tickets
Citi Open Tennis Tournament Tickets
Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic Tickets
National Bank Open Womens Tennis Canada Tickets
Odlum Brown Van Open r Tickets
Tennis In The Land Tickets
US Open Tennis Championship Tickets
Laver Cup Vancouver Tickets


Popular Tennis books:
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis-Lessons from a Master by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance by Jeff Greenwald
The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
Most Recent Articles:
October 2022 Tennis Anyone: Patterns in Doubles by John Mills.
September 2022 Tennis Anyone: Short Court by John Mills.




"Tennis Server" is a registered trademark and "Tennis Server INTERACTIVE" is a trademark of Tennis Server. All original material and graphics on the Tennis Server are copyrighted 1994 - by Tennis Server and its sponsors and contributors. Please do not reproduce without permission.

The Tennis Server receives a commission on all items sold through links to Amazon.com.


Tennis Server
Cliff Kurtzman
791 Price Street #144
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Phone: (281) 480-6300
Online Contact Form
How to support Tennis Server as a Sponsor/Advertiser
Tennis Server Privacy Policy