Hitting the ball or Playing the Game

Hitting the Ball – Mechanics, Posture, Balance and Rhythm,

Playing the game – only two cardinal rules

  • Put the ball over the net (translated – hit up)

  • Always be ready and positioned for your opponent’s return

And as much as this means centering on the opponent angle of play it also means anticipation and the ability to play offense and defense

And this second aspect entails “playing the game”

Many have seen the very popular Youtube video of a left handed wizard (in my opinion) competing with a classically trained opponent

The wizard seemed to always put the ball over the net – but more importantly appeared to always be centered and ready for the opponent’s reply

He was readying deep when the opponent was on attack, and moving forward when his own offensive options occurred

At your end….

  • Are you able to clearly see the other side of the net – to discern the patterns, the strengths and weaknesses, and to anticipate?

  • Can you “buy” recovery time by slowing the ball down?

  • Can “steal” their recovery time by moving forward when they are out of position?

  • Are you building your skill and confidence on the “opportunity ball”?  (clue – that is always your return of their second serve)

  • Can you “play to a script” to prioritize your first touch on the first point of each game?

Take a few steps back from your work on hitting the ball and explore more and more how to “play the game”

Postscript – some players can do all this and more, and often they are described as having “game.”  Check out the following link where my old friend Brent Abel and I discuss what it is, how it feels, even if or how it can be taught.

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