TENNISBYMIND Methods Steps and Means- part 6.
This step is conducted by the eighth lesson.
There are two targets for this lesson.
The first is designed for strokes that require forward motion of up to three steps forward from the baseline, a movement to `short balls` and the full stop needed before impact.
The second is designed to practice the hitting of high jump, deep balls or whose velocity is relatively high and therefore require an early hit. Teaching an early transfer of body weight forward to the fulcrum.
In the case of short balls, trainee has to stand closer to the net (at the latitude of the serve line) and pass slow balls allowing the instructor to use voice correction while movement.
At this point it is important to synchronize the `stop` call for a split second before the actual break of the movement. Also to encourage the trainee by a lengthy compliment explaining how is doing well, or detailed explanation when performance is not adequate enough. Special focus has to be made on the racket position while moving towards the ball. This part is to be emphasized without worrying about disrupting lesson's rhythmus.
The need to practice high or deep balls is of great importance. There is a tendency among amateurs to use a large number of steps backward until the ball reaches a height that allows a reasonable strike (which in most cases does not happen) and as a result - the inability to transfer body weight to the fulcrum in order make the shot.
Another problem is the partial backwards movement while trying to hit the ball over the shoulder level with limited leg movement or lack of movement at all.
The best way to address this problem is by the placement of a line of cones 80 cm to 1 meter behind the baseline. Cones line simulates a deep abyss. Whenever there is excessive movement backward, the instructor declares loudly about falling into the abyss.
Practicing Short balls brings quick results in terms of the need to stop before strike. The next movement forward after the impact, is a common mistake among amateurs, the practice described below worked better than other tested methods.
Practicing high and deep balls using abyss imagery brings immediate results, it also creates a lot of laughter during practice and helps emotionally as well as intellectually to embed the required movement.