Hand Tennis — Focus on What You Can Control

Pros often tell you to “feel your racquet strings” when hitting the ball. The best way to start is to work on your tennis hands. The racket face is going to do pretty much what the palm of your hand does. So, this week I want you to play tennis focusing on your hands.

  • Air tennis — shadow swings on or off court, no tennis ball
  • On court — no racket, just your hand and a tennis ball.

Before you start, look at a tennis ball and estimate how many nickel size circles you could draw on it with them overlapping. Go ahead, take a guess. I actually sat down and did it and got 28! That’s approximately how many different spots you can touch on a tennis ball with your strings at contact.

Now, think about a pool shark, taking a looooong time to line up her shot. She wants to hit the cue ball on a precise spot to hit a ball into the pocket. It’s the same for tennis. The palm of your hand mirrors your racket head and strings. Focus on what you can feel in order to hit the ball where you want it to go.

Here’s what to think about and practice, for more control:

  • What kind of spin do you want to impart?
  • What direction do you want to hit the ball?
  • How high? Is it a drive, a loft or a lob?
  • How deep? Do you want to hit to the baseline, drop short or slice?

So, let’s see those tennis hands this week. Really focus on the contact spot on the ball to direct the path of the ball across the net. “Nice hands” is one of the best compliments in tennis!

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