Tennis: Visualize the Target Before Taking Your Shot

Dick Moss, Editor

For beginners, incoming shots seem to move so fast that there's no time to think about where to aim the return. This is especially true in doubles net play when players are volleying the ball back and forth like a ping-pong match.

Returning such shots is a matter of reflex. But how do you aim reflexive shots?

Visualize the Shot First
The key is to visualize the next shot before it's fired at you. As soon as the ball leaves your racquet (or your teammate's), instantly check the anticipated position of your opponents, decide where you'd like to place the ball, then visualize yourself hitting it there. And assume their return will be coming to you.

When the ball does fly at you, there's no need to think. Your shot will automatically head for the spot you've visualized.

1. Vic Braden (Instruction Editor), with Norman Zeitchick, “How to play those lightning-quick volleys.” Tennis, October 1988.
2. Jim Brown & Camille Soulier, Tennis: Steps to Success - 4th Edition, Human Kinetics, 2013.

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© 2013, Physical Education,

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