Tennis: Shorten Your Strides When Approaching Distant Shots

Tennis: Shorten Your Strides When Approaching Distant Shots

Dick Moss, Editor, PE

Beginning tennis players often have trouble gauging distances when pursuing distant shots. You'll often see them racing across the court only to find that they've overrun the ball.

Here's a simple suggestion to correct this problem. Tell students not to sprint full-out all the way to the ball. Instead, instruct them to begin running with long strides, but  to slow down and take shorter, quicker steps as they approach the ball.

These shorter steps will allow players to
better judge their position and make adjustments to the incoming ball . If they are too far away, they can still speed up. If they are too close, they can more easily slow down to assume a good position for the shot.

Coaching Cue
You can use the following coaching cue. Tell your students that it's like stopping a car at an intersection. They won't make a smooth stop if they wait until the last moment to brake.

1.  Scott Baker, “Small Steps.”
2. Curly Davis, (USPTA), “Apply Your Brakes Early to Set Up a Good Swing.” Tennis, May 1987.

To download the pdf version of this
article, click here: Download Now

© 2010, Physical Education,

Bookmark and Share

Printer-Friendly Format