Best Tennis Tip: "Hit Across The Ball"
I've posted mainly questions on this forum so far, so thought I would contribute with a comment about the one of the most useful tennis tip I have ever come across: "hit across the ball" (see http://www.tennisw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5977)
It sounds so simple. Instead of the oft-quoted "hit through the ball" (I'm so tired of hearing this one at my club that I have almost stopped contradicting it), just slide the racquet across the ball. When I first discovered this tip, I found it made a massive difference especially to my 2h-backhand. Before, I was alternating between pushing it long or looping it up too high. When I made a conscious effort to brush upwards ACROSS the ball, it instantly became much more reliable and consistent. Moreover, I "felt" a much better contact with the ball and therefore was more confident about directing it where I wanted.
In short, this "hitting across the ball" has become a rule I apply to all shots with success (fh, bh, volley, serve). Great stuff.
Hitting Across - Windshield Wiper
At my coach's instruction, I recently tried a wrist bracket to help me to "feel" the windshield wiper motion on my forehand and to correct a slight forward motion of my wrist. The windshield wiper motion produces topspin and sidespin and a longer feel of the ball on the strings. According to my coach this technique is an advanced part of one's development and may occur naturally, but in my case the old habit from prior conventional teaching to hit out in front has prevented me from perfecting the windshield wiper motion on my own. With this training appliance it is impossible to flip the wrist forward to hit the ball head-on and have it bounce straight off the racquet. Instead, you begin to feel the ball on the strings longer, brush upward and sideways and finish on the left side, either over the shoulder or lower on the left side. You can feel the wrist and forearm, biceps and pectorals working naturally to move the racquet from under the ball across to the left and down on the other side, as if you were wiping the racquet face vertically across a pane of glass. This is how the pros hit, and utilizing this technique increases topspin and accuracy.