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Tennis Lesson Tips - The Perfect Swing

Jan 8, 2008
There are a lot of things to learn when taking up tennis, but one of the main fundamentals that must be taught is how to swing. Perfecting your swing may make the difference between being able to handle yourself on the court, and never quite learning how to play a decent game of tennis.

Want to know how to improve your swing? Follow these important guidelines:

Step #1: Get Ready For The Hit!
Keep your racquet back at all times. Once the ball has left your opponent's racquet, you must move into position. It's important to keep your racquet back while positioning yourself to enable a clean shot.

But, before heading toward the incoming ball remember to...

1. Recognize that the ball is going to your forehand side.

2. Establish a balanced sideways stance as you begin to position yourself for the stroke by letting go with your non-dominant hand. At this point your racquet should be pointing away from your intended target and positioned about waist high.

3. Move into final position for the shot by maintaining enough space between your body and the ball. This will allow for a more fluent stroke. Position your body to enable you to hit the ball when it is waist high. If the ball happens to be below your waist, bend your knees to lower your waist height.

4. Next, move the racquet towards the ball and remember to keep the "head" of the racquet at the same height as your hand as you initiate your stroke. DO NOT bend or straighten your arm or move your wrists. Begin to rotate your shoulders while keeping your eye on the ball.

5. It's time to make contact with the ball. The point of contact should be somewhere around your front foot. Be sure that the "face" of your racquet is square to the ball at contact. Remember to rotate your shoulders through contact. This will allow you to keep your racquet face going in the right direction throughout the entire swing.

Step #2: Follow Through!
Correct follow through ensures that the prior phase of your swing was executed in a smooth manner. Similar to the backhand, correct follow-through creates an arcing motion that rises from the point of contact with the ball to an area just above your opposite shoulder. A smooth follow through is a direct response to a smooth contact. Brute force alone can't create a powerful swing. The key here is a smooth execution of both the stroke and its follow-through phase.

A strong follow through consists of these steps:

1. Lifting the ball over the net while keeping the arm and wrist fixed.

2. Finishing the shoulder rotation. If your chest is facing the intended target you are positioned correctly.

3. Being sure that your racquet face remains perpendicular to the ground through the entire follow through.

4. Be sure to keep your rear toe planted while the heel raises off the ground. Lifting your rear foot will result in a poor follow-through.

While all of these techniques and tricks can definitely help you to improve your tennis swing, the most important element to improvement is practice, practice and more practice.
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