"Master the Tennis Approach Shot | Step by Step"
If you want to take advantage of your opponents short balls and start ending points FASTER, watch this video. Ramon Osa walks you through a step by step process to master your approach shot!
First let’s talk about where you should aim when you hit your approach shot.
There’s a few ways to think about this, but a good starting point is, hit the approach shot down the line.
And that makes sense geometrically, because you can hit the ball there, box your opponent in, cover the down the line passsing shot, and cut off the cross court passing shot.
Hitting the approach shot Down the middle is a second option, because it’s going to be pretty tough, for a recreational player to create a great angle from a ball that’s hit deep down the middle. If you’re you’re in that 3.0-4.0 range, I just haven’t seen too many players at that level that can consistently create angled shots from a ball hit deep down the middle it’s tough to do.
And finally, usually the worst idea is a cross court approach shot… because it just opens up the entire court for your opponent, and gives them the opportunity to hit the ball up the line.
Now, if your opponent has an obvious flaw, say a terrible backhand as some do… feel free to just pepper every one of your approach shots to his backhand, until he proves he can pass you that’s a very general rule that can apply in all situations… hit to your opponents weaker side… but if your opponent is fairly balanced on both sides anywhere up the line, or down the middle should work.
Let’s move on to HOW you hit the approach shot effectively.
1. Racket preparation- We want to prepare our racket with our hands around the area that we want to hit the ball. So, for example if you know your contact point for the approach shot you’re about to hit is going to be up around your shoulders, we’ll have our hands in that area. If you know you’re going to be getting down low for your approach shot, your preparation will be a little bit lower.
2. Aim lower over the net- In general, we need to aim lower over the net… because as we move forward, we shrink the court, and we have less surface area to hit into. And hitting lower over the net gives us the ability to hit the ball aggressively, and still keep it in the court. Make sense? Good.
3. Move through the shot- The next thing and this is really important… you want to move through the approach shot. In other words, you’re not going plant, stop, hit, and then run. You want to hit this ball in motion. There are some tricks with the footwork that I’ll cover in a separate video. So if that sounds like something you want to learn about, hit the subscribe button so you get notified when I make it. But for now, just make sure you’re moving through the shot as you hit it.
4. Follow your shot- the last thing is follow your shot. In general, it’s pretty safe to draw a straight line from you to the path of the ball, and just follow that line, this gives you the best chance to cut off the angle of your opponents passing shot.
HOW TO PRACTICE-
Well, just so happens I’ve got a simple step by step process that I’l walk you through.
Step 1. Is to shadow it… so as you go through this, visualize yourself moving through the approach shot, striking the ball and then closing aggressively towards the ball.
Step 2. Is to drop Feed yourself a ball out in front of you. Then move forward, as you hit your approach shot and hit your split step, you can even add a little shadow volley in here if you want.
Finally, Step 3. Is to get a practice partner, start a rally, and then take turns hitting a short ball and having your partner hit his approach shot.
And that’s all there is to it, so remember if you want to hit a great approach shot aim up the line, prepare your racket on the level of the ball, aim lower over the net, move through the shot, and follow the path of the ball… and you’ll be a star by Tuesday.
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