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Groundstroke Fundamentals
By: Andrew S. Rosz

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

THE THREE FUNDAMENTALS OF NEUTRAL GROUNDSTROKE TENNIS

  1. All neutral groundstroke are directed toward one of three backcourt target points.
  2. Each and every neutral groundstroke is hit with a minimum 6 to 10 ft of net clearance.
  3. All neutral groundstroke are hit with consistent pace; do not vary the pace of your neutral groundstroke.

TECHNIQUES FOR HITTING NEUTRAL GROUNDSTROKES

  1. Allow every ball to "fall into your strings"; i.e. the ball is moving from high to low (descending with gravity) before you hit it.
  2. Stroke the ball at an angle equal to the angle of the ball's decent; i.e. your stroke and follow-through should moving through space at the same angle that the ball had as it fell into your strings. Take special note here... this fundamental concept is the standard on which most strokes in tennis are built.
  3. Use low to high strokes (always) when hitting neutral groundstroke. This is also the most efficient and effective way to hit most shots in tennis. Low to high strokes usually result in...

                A. Maximum depth while using minimum energy
                B. Maximum accuracy during ball-to-racket contact
                C. Minimum likelihood of mis-hit errors

  1. The racket head should be perpendicular to the flight of the ball at impact. This teaches you to hit neutral groundstroke flat and without spin. Hitting the ball flat and without spin will also help you learn how to hit the ball straight.
  2. Use full strokes when hitting neutral groundstrokes. As a general rule, the racket head should be higher than your head and your arm(s) should be fully extended as you complete your follow-through.
  3. When hitting neutral groundstroke, your forehand and backhand should be mirror images of each other as your racket moves through space. This is because all the fundamentals discussed above apply equally to forehand and backhand. Also, mirror image strokes require that you learn a concept or skill only once since it can be applied to both forehand and backhand in an equal and "mirror-like" fashion.
  4. There is usually plenty of time to prepare for your shots when hitting neutral groundstroke with your opponent. BEGIN NOW to learn to prepare early for the shot; this means GET YOUR RACKET BACK AND WAIT for the ball with your racket back. We have an entire lesson dedicated to early preparation since it is essential for early preparation to eventually become a part of your game at the more advanced levels of tennis.

RECAP OF NEUTRAL GROUNDSTROKE TECHNIQUES

  1. Let each and every ball "fall into your strings"
  2. The angle of the stroke is equal to angle of the ball's descent
  3. Low to high strokes only
  4. The racket head is perpendicular to the flight of the ball at impact
  5. Use full strokes with complete arm extension
  6. Mirror image forehand and backhand
  7. Prepare early; get your racket back and WAIT

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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