Use a Shorter Backswing and Regular Follow Through on Shorter Balls by Steve Annacone

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With the speed and power game prominent in a modern tennis match, players are often caught off guard when the ball is hit short. A couple of basic ideas will help you handle this type of situation. Turn your shoulders prior to running in and remind yourself to use a short backswing on this ball. Once you get to the ball, slow your feet down and make a smooth, normal, forward swing with your regular follow through. The tendency is to swing quickly with a big backswing and a short follow through which tends to result in the ball flying off the racquet, or a mishit shot. The swing with a shorter backswing and regular follow through will produce some rotation on the ball (slight topspin) and keep your shot deep and under control. In addition, because you are using something close to your normal swing, it is more likely you will hit the ball solid and time the swing well. These two things will give you the confidence to react quickly and decisively to the short ball, and help make you feel like that there is more time to execute your shot.

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Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Professional, is the Director of Annacone TennisMyHamptonsPro and Baron’s Cove Resort In Sag Harbor, NY.  Steve is also a Volunteer Assistant Coach for the University of Arizona Women’s team. For questions about lessons, clinics, or coaching, please go to the Traveling Tennis Pros Tennis Lessons Arizona page or contact us.

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