If you're a pro maybe short balls come naturally to you. But for most of us normal players these balls are often sent right into the net or to the back fence.
We went out and practiced these annoying balls to find out what worked and what didn't work.
Tennis crew - let's not let these balls control us anymore. These balls are the land of opportunity for us. Think of how many you get during a match that should be easy points!
Here are three easy things I found that you should try next time. Or just ignore them and continue losing matches.
1. Turn sideways. Early. Like super early.
Often we are on the run to get to these balls as if our life depended on it, and it usually ends up in running straight into the ball chest open.
Sure we turn sideways early on groundies but often lack prep for these shorties. So get that unit turned and frame up your shot and you'll see how much more time you have.
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Worked low short balls and discovered a few things that helped the most on these tricky shots - 1. Turn sideways early, this helped opening of chest and running into the ball - 2. Get up to the ball extra quick, like quicker than you would think, so you have more time to set up your shot and execute - 3. Keep head still and don’t peek at where it’s going - you’ve already chosen your stroke - What else works on these?
2. Put a move on it
Why does it seem like we're never fully set up for these shots? You're probably hesitating and camping on your heels 12 ft behind the baseline like me.
After looking on video, I was tentative to move inside the court and would wait until the coast was clear to start moving forward. Very bad idea.
What I found was that first initial step is so crucial to allow you to get up to the ball and have more time to set up the shot.
Get your lazy ass moving forward, don't be scared, and you'll have more time to do your thing.
3. What are you staring at?
How many times have you shanked these for no apparent reason?
We know to keep our heads still on groundies but when practicing these shorties I was cheating and looking where the ball was going during the stroke - often leading to massive, embarrassing shanks.
So take a moment to freeze your head at contact even when the urge to peek is there with all the excitement. You'll hit cleaner. Don't worry about where it's going - you already picked your target and now it's just time to execute.
I also talked about this session in the very first episode of Court Report
Will you let these short balls continue to dominate you, or will 2019 be the year you take control of your own destiny?
I vow to make 2019 the year of the short ball, and to see every one as an opportunity - and I ask you to join me.