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I was wondering are there heuristics for controlling depth of the ball i.e. how the racket should be positioned at contact?
What beginner mistake usually causes players to hit the forehand volley too wide and out of the court to the right?
You just need to aim. You cannot possibly consciously control the small degrees of the racket angle.
Depth is a combination of racket angle, swing path angle and speed. So there is no way I can give you some numbers and you will consciously do that.
Not to mention that every ball that flies towards you has a different speed, arrives at a different angle, has different amount of spin and so on.
So all you have is trial and error. You aim and if the ball is too short, you visualize a bit deeper ball. Then your subconscious mind will do small adjustments in racket angle, swing path angle and speed and try to accomplish that.
And then you go through that trial and error process over and over again and it will get better.
What mistake players do? If they are beginners, tennis is too difficult for them, it’s not their fault, they are doing the best they can but their brain cannot calculate the angles and timing fast enough and their body is not coordinated enough to execute a good volley in small amount of time.
Tennis is too difficult sport for 80-90% of the population. They can never get good, keep that in mind.
You can always improve, even at age 70 and later, but you need repetition. Just realize that there is limit to improvement.
One mistake for missing is not technical but tactical, you aim too close to the lines, you want to hit a winner. And yet you don’t have the skills to do that.
So learn – don’t try to hit winners, aim into the open court with enough margin for error.
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