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Approach Shot
By: Andrew S. Rosz

South Florida Professional Tennis Instruction
Hollywood, Florida
, USA
(954) 922-8040

COMMON APPROACH SHOT ABUSES

  1. Attempting to hit the corners perfectly thus the ball lands out much of the time. This is most common in players having a serve-and-volley game style. Direct your approach shots deep, just to the wide side of the backcourt target points.
  2. Hitting an approach shot with too much pace. Remember, it is good depth that makes for a good approach shot. Power is always secondary to good depth.
  3. Hitting an approach shot on the dead run. That is, not attempting to stop to regain balance and control before executing the stroke.

APPROACH SHOT TECHNIQUES (Listed in their order of importance)

  1. Decide how accurate your approach shot should be
  2. Watch the ball all the way to the strings (watch impact)
  3. Hit the ball from a motionless, balanced position
  4. Turn sideways completely when preparing to hit your approach shot
  5. Approach the net in the direction of your intended shot (if you decide to approach the net)
  6. Maintain firm wrist(s) through the entire stroke; backswing, hit, and follow-through
  7. React quickly; get your racket back and wait (early preparation using a two-step stroke)
  8. Use full strokes; follow-through completely with a three-second follow-through
  9. Recover quickly back to the ready position

SPECIAL EMPHASIS TECHNIQUES

  1. Decide how accurate your approach shot should be. Setting up for an approach shot usually requires you to take several steps or even to run after the ball just to reach it. This will take valuable time. It also takes time to stop and properly set up for the shot. When preparing to hit an approach shot, there must be a special emphasis on stopping before deciding how accurately you will try to hit your shot. Since an approach shot is an offensive shot, a primary requirement of every offensive shot is that you have the TIME to properly set up and prepare for the shot. If you don't have adequate time to stop, regain your balance, and adequately prepare for the shot, acknowledge this by simply aiming for a backcourt target point and retreating to a backcourt groundstroking position.
  2. Watch the ball all the way to the strings. Since the approach shot is an offensive shot, a solid impact insures the offensiveness of the shot.
  3. Hit the ball from a motionless, balanced position. At impact, both feet should be firmly on the ground in a balanced position with your body weight equally distributed. Consistent pinpoint accuracy can only be obtained by hitting the ball from a properly balanced position.
  4. Turn sideways completely when preparing to hit your approach shot. This is essential to control both the direction and power of your intended shot.
  5. Approach the net in the direction of your intended shot (if you decide to approach the net). This means once you have hit your approach shot, move toward the net in the same direction of your shot until you reach your desired ready position near the net.

Note: Each of the tennis tips outlined above are more fully discussed in a series of expertly-written tennis instruction training manuals and book publications for players who prefer to be "self-taught."  For more information on our world-renowned SFPTI tennis instruction training manuals and book publications CLICK HERE.

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