Reason #9 for eTennisTeam
What does a captain say to a doubles team before a match besides, "Good luck?" See TennisOne Associate Editor Ken DeHart's team advice, a unique feature of our free eTennisTeam service. Ken DeHart is a PTR and USPTA Master Professional and is a USA Trainer for Development Coaches and a USA Tennis High Performance Coach. Ken travels often as a premier speaker in the tennis industry and has also won numerous titles including Gold Medals at the Huntsman World Senior Games.
The Forehand Midcourt Volley
Using The ACE System which breaks down technique into biomechanical reference points that are fundamentally common among all great technicians, I will teach you some of the most important reference points to learn while performing the midcourt forehand volley. You can then quickly take and apply these reference points to your own game or coaching to immediately improve technique. I will look at the preparation, the hitting zone, and the endings of the technique. So let's get started.
The Continental Grip
The first thing to do is to familiarize yourself with the continental grip. To achieve the continental grip, simply pick up the racquet as if you were going to use it to hammer a nail into the ground with the edge.
Preparation: Touring Pro, Lindsay Lee-Waters, demonstrates world class preparation.
This grip allows you to use one grip for both forehand and backhand volleys. It also makes low volleys much easier because with it, you need only to hold the racquet out in front of your body and the strings will automatically point up and over the net without having to make any adjustments to the racquet face.
Let's observe two specific reference points for the preparation phase of the midcourt forehand volley. The first reference point to note is marked by the yellow arrow showing the the racquet head with an open face and slightly laid back towards the back fence
The second reference point is marked by the green arrow which shows the racquet hand set out in front of the body at approximately 45 degrees in relation to the net.
At contact, Lindsay maintains a straight back and get's down to the ball by bending her knees.
Although the racquet head itself can be set to the side and behind the body as seen in the illustrated example, make sure to keep the hand set to the side but in front of the body as you see Lindsay demonstrate.
If one merely uses the proper continental grip and makes contact out in front of their body, then the low forehand volley is quite an easy shot to execute. So let's look at the two reference specific reference points to mimic for the contact point.
The first reference point is represented by the green arrow which shows the contact point to the side yet out in front of the body approximately even with the toes of the left foot. The racquet face is slightly open at contact.
Ending: Lindsay beautifully demonstrates the finish with the racquet head out in front of her chest and the strings facing towards the sky.
The second reference point to mimic is that the back should remain in a near vertical position at the time of contact (represented by the yellow arrow). Many players make the common mistake of bending their back rather than bending their legs to get down to the level of the ball. This leads to poor balance and slow recovery for the next shot. So think bend those legs not your back. Now onto the ending phase.
There are two simple reference points for the ending of the forehand midcourt volley. The first reference point to note is that again the back should bend no more than 45 degrees in relation to the ground. One should maintain a fairly erect posture. Keep the head up and the back fairly straight and let the racquet and legs do most of the work for you.
The second reference point to mimic is to end with the racquet head away from the body and out in front of your chest with the racquet strings facing towards the sky. It is very helpful to freeze in this ending and then look to see if you met the proper reference points mentioned above.
So that wraps it up. All you need to do now is simply go out and practice the reference points in each phase of the stroke and you will be on your way to having a great midcourt, low forehand volley just like the pros.
Use the chair volley drill below to hone your technique and let us know how it goes.
Until next time.
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Slice Backhand - Hitting Zone
In part two of his groundbreaking Cutting Edge video series, Heath Waters examines the fundamental commonalities of three of the best slice backhands in the world including Tommy Haas and Roger Federer. He then delineates the reference points you should achieve in order to build a world class slice backhand of your own.
Crosscourt - The Williams Sisters
This week, leading tennis journalists, Matt Cronin and Joel Drucker, discuss the Williams sisters. Each won a slam last year but did little else with an out of shape Serena falling out of the top ten and Venus barely hanging on. Is the motivation still there? Have the other girls caught up? Can the sisters claw their way back to the top? This and more from Cronin and Drucker.
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ProStrokes Gallery: Nadia Petrova - Serve
Nadia Petrova is arguably the biggest serving, heaviest hitter among the crop of young Russian women and has edged into the top 10 this year. She has one tour singles title and 11 doubles titles, prefers hard courts that suit her aggressive game. She looks to finish points early with her big forehand and serve, and is not afraid to come to the net. Check out Nadia's game, exclusively on TennisOne. New this issue, Nadia Petrova's Serve.
Virtual Tennis Academy
Current professional tour coach, Heath Waters and wife, top 100 and former no. 33 in the world ranked tour player, Lindsay Lee-Waters, are proud to release the first predominantly all streaming video based e-learning tennis instructional website at www.virtualtennisacademy.com
Subscribers will receive personal video tennis instruction directly from Heath and Lindsay as well as mental coaching, sports performance training, and much, more from a hand chosen team of experts currently working with professional tennis players on tour. Now anyone in the world, no matter what level, can receive the same world class training the world's best tennis players receive right from the convenience of their own home.
The Etcheberry Experience DVD
For more than twenty years Pat Etcheberry has been providing athletes from around the world with the winning edge. We call this the Etcheberry Experience, and players with an Etcheberry experience have hoisted Championship Trophies at over one hundred major championships, including 28 Australian Opens, 18 Wimbledons, 22 UP Opens, 22 French Opens and 15 Olympic medals.
And now it's your turn! This is your chance to experience the same drills, exercises and words of tennis wisdom that Pat gave to Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jennifer Capriati, Martina Hingis, Jim Courier, Justine Henin-Hardenne, and others, that helped launch them on their incredible careers. For the first time, Pat Etcheberry shares his training secrets in a series of DVDs for players of all ages, their coaches, and trainers
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