LEARNING FROM THE TENNIS PROS

The winner of Sportsmart and Wilson’s tennis sponsorship program, Scott Lyons, provides regular blog articles on his favourite topic – tennis …

With the Australian tennis season well up and running, and the Australian Open on the way, many of us will be eagerly watching hoping to pick up some tips for our own game. Here are a few things to keep an eye on when watching the pros:

1) Listen to the footwork. When players are in a baseline rally, listen to the squeaks on the court. The squeaking indicates the footwork players go through before playing each stroke. You will often notice many small squeaks. This is because the key to footwork is to take many small steps to get into position, rather than just one or two big steps, otherwise known as lunges. So, when back on the court, practice always being on your toes.

2) Watch the follow-through of every shot. Whether backhand or forehand, pros follow through with their racquet well over their shoulder after hitting a shot. This is essential in tennis as it assists with control, power and top spin. Many of us get into bad habits of stabbing, slapping or chopping at the ball.

3) Watch out for the knee bend. The knee bend is vital in providing weight transference, and giving power to the serve. Andy Roddick demonstrates the best knee bend in serving, so keep an eye out for him.

4) Watch the ball toss in a serve. The ball toss is the most important part of the serve. Without an accurate ball toss, any consistent serving motion is not possible. When watching the pros play, note how they toss the ball in the air, rather than chucking it. Their arm remains in the air until the racquet swings through.

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