The importance of just hitting: How To Improve Through Free Hitting
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This is probably one of my favorite videos. Just simple, effortless. Visualizing this and letting go of the technical parts is helping. I need to see this as one stroke rather than the parts. Thanks for this section.
Glad it helps, Mike.
I used to watch Andre Agassi’s shots and game over and over again when I was a young tennis player and it helped me too, especially if I watched it before I played a match.
Should one “prepare”, then continuously proceed through the other steps, as you seem to be doing, or does one stop and wait after the “prepare” until the ball gets close enough?
We should never stop in our movements since the ball also never stops in our flight towards us.
The preparation – backswing – forward swing are simply timed with the ball flight.
Thanks for all your videos – I’m a big fan! I’m getting the hang of the forehand technique, but I struggle with high balls above the waist level. My shots tend to go long. The mental image of bowling does not seem intuitive here. How should I adjust the technique for high balls?
Thanks in advance!
Check this video article, Yash:
Hi Tomaz, What’s the thing with the medicine ball I am always seeing pros use? Is it worth buying one? I have noticed that when I do a little weights my volleys are much better.
The main objective is to sync the body and not use the arms separately. The medicine ball is heavy and forces the player to use legs, core, upper body and arms together to execute the right movement.
There are many more very effective drills that can be done with medicine ball, here’s a clip as an example:
Very good, thanks. Today I watched your Fix your Forehand on your own. @ great tips for me, that I hadn’t heard before and are immediately tremendously helpful. One was the step and hit, and the other the grounding. Thank you !
Hi Tomaz, How can I know whether the reason I cannot hit the ball hard on my ground shots is because I am weak or is it my ‘technique/biomechanics/mindset ?
I guarantee you that you are not too weak. Well trained and talented girls of age 10 who weigh 35 kg can whack the ball really fast.
In most cases you cannot hit the ball hard because:
– you want too much control which tenses you up and your body is fighting itself and is “braking” the acceleration in order to control the ball
– you are hitting the ball too late where the speed has not built up yet (arm hasn’t swung much yet, the body hasn’t rotated yet, the wrist is stiff in order to align correctly and cannot be released to “slap” the ball
– yes, your general biomechanics are off, meaning your legs and hips don’t initiate the stroke which makes the upper body feel weak, then you over-compensate and tighten up and that leads to slow movement again
Tennis is very paradoxical and counter-intuitive – it’s very very tricky sport that is played differently to what it seems – meaning, you are using the words “hitting hard” above but hitting the ball should be imagined and worded as “fast”.
“Hitting hard” assumes and suggests that your muscles will be hard and you will be “strong” attempting the shot. That leads to tension which slows down the racket.
The speed of the ball is directly related to the speed of the racket. Racket only goes fast when you swing it smooth (like golf club or baseball club), when you want the racket head to go fast and fluid.
So you need to remove the wording and the idea that in tennis we hit the ball hard.
Help yourself with a long exhale and try to swing “through” the ball like it’s just a yellow hologram, like it’s air.
You also need to accelerate the stroke gradually, not suddenly.
If there is no swing in the stroke, it also won’t flow and easily build speed.
Here are some links to topics that may help:
– for swinging: https://www.feeltennis.net/relaxation-and-rotation/, https://www.feeltennis.net/universal-swing/, https://www.feeltennis.net/racket-swing/
– for acceleration: https://www.feeltennis.net/fewer-mistakes-power/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6EL3n8FTuA
– for relaxing, avoiding tension: https://www.feeltennis.net/playing-slow/, https://www.feeltennis.net/fundamental-rally-conditions/, https://www.feeltennis.net/breathing-in-tennis/
Thats very good news!!! Thanks
I realise I’ve not been ‘throwing’ my racket., as per one of your videos. I’ve been doing the press and roll after a linear path, but then no sense of release. The linear path and the press and roll feel very nice, and its a nice shot, but theres no power, because theres no sense of release/letting go.
Threw today, huge improvement
Wonderful, here’s the link to the article where I explain throwing the racket into the ball: https://www.feeltennis.net/power-and-control/
Thanks, thats the one I read. Great article. I read it before but forgot it when I had been trying to copy the guys who play mini tennis to warm up who get that lovely arc and top spin, but doing that I had forgotten about throwing the ball. Today I also tried your standing well behind the baseline and hitting at a low contact point, worked a treat, really good feel.
There is one thing about this video that makes me very curious. On the other video, in forehand biomechanics, hip rotation more precisely, when You are doing exercise with rubber band, tip of Your back foot is somewhat “pressing” on the ground to (probably?) prevent the back foot from going forward and have good stability. On Your free hitting session, Your back foot is always going forward a little bit. Can You tell me why? On youtube, when i watch practice sessions with Djokovic and other pros, they are doing this “thing” with the tip of the back foot and not going straight forward with the foot. There is probably easy explanation for this but cant figure it out on my own…
When you are tied with the rubber band, it’s constantly pulling you and challenging your balance, so the back foot helps a bit to be stable even though most of the weight is on the front foot.
When playing, the back foot is freed, the hip pulls it.
I like to use this video of Djokovic to show the fundamentals of neutral stance technique – so very stable front foot and the back foot not coming in front of the front foot like many coaches like to teach weight transfer.
If you’re asking me “why exactly” is the back foot not on the ground anymore, well, it’s being pulled forward by the hip and a split second later I need to start recovering so I need that foot quickly to help me move.
I can’t keep it back behind me for too long…
Thank You, yes, this is really good video, saw it many times.
I saw videos of Your students “before and after” and in the “after” section, everyone is staying with the tip of the back foot pressing a little bit to the ground. They are not pulling their foot, like You. I believe its because they are rec players and You need to teach them proper balance and stability and that helps? Sry, i am just very curious and have big passion to tennis.
Yes, I have to teach them proper balance so we slightly exaggerate standing longer on the front foot without quickly recovering, that also means that the back foot is not pulled so much forward.
I also demonstrate that here: https://www.feeltennis.net/forehand-fundamentals/
Thank You! I am happy that i guessed something finally. 🙂 Now i am going to watch this video and i know i am gonna enjoy it. 🙂
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