[tennisbiz] Short Ball Putaway
I have been teaching tennis at a summer small club on Cape Cod
these past two years. Most of the adult students I have are in
the 3.0 to 3.5 NTRP range and one big problem they all seem to
have is reacting to and successfully handling the short ball.
As a result I have developed a three-ball drill which
1) gives them a regular ground stroke
2) a short ball return to their ground stroke, and
3) a volley in reply to their short ball putaway.
Obviously, few of the players successfully execute all three
strokes in sequence, so I wind up hitting one or more returns
out of my hand. But the shot they all seem to have problem
with is the short ball putaway - they typically simply either
hit it out or just blop it back, which gives their opponent a
short ball of their own to deal with...
Watching the pros, I noticed that most of them use an aggressive,
heavy topspin, full-swing for their short balls. This stroke has
proven virtually impossible to teach, however. It just exagerrates
the student's tendency to overhit in tryin to get a winner. As a
result, I have begun teaching a kind of choppy underspin (from
either side) stroke that carries deep toward the baseline and stays
low. For some reason this works, not only for the students, but
also for me. I have incorporated it with success into my game - it
seems to be more accurate and less risky and the low bounce makes
it difficult to return.
Any thoughts on this strategy and/or teaching techniques would be
Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
Received on Thu Apr 25 2002 - 23:53:52 CDT