Tuesday, June 19, 2018

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1. Hitting once or twice a week in the regular season will keep your arm warm and help you stay sharp. 
Hit balls over the net then off the backboard if nobody else is around.

2. Besides all players not wanting balls left on the court, many want the ball to come back past the server's line.

Swing as hard as it takes to hit the ball between that line and the baseline. 

3. Before your opponent hits the ball, stand with your knees bent and your feet parallel to each other. 
If the ball comes to your right side, turn around with your left foot out in front and your right foot many inches behind it then hit the ball. 
Do the opposite if the ball comes to your left side. 

4. Using a 12:00 to 10:00 forehand stroke 
To hit the ball once it's in front of you and the elbow of your hitting arm is pressed against your body just over your hip, come up the front side of the ball with your racket head then bring it all the way to your opposite shoulder - using this method will produce natural spin and make you better overall.

5. Using upside-down rainbow motion for the backhand

Use a long one-handed swing similar to drawing a U to hit the ball on your backhand side while having your hitting elbow pressed against your waist.

6. Staying sharp on all of your shots & other skills
Work on everything to avoid going stale.
Even if you don't play many games, it helps to practice hitting slices, spin balls and other shots at least once per year.  
Don't worry about practicing your serve with your partner - after all, it's not uncommon for some players to work on their serves when hitting for practice with others.

7. How body weight is crucial to serving 
Simply standing upright won't likely help your serve.
A key component to serve success is leaning forward in order to put more of your body weight into your serve.
Even if you don't prefer to do it in general, leave the option of using a jump serve in which you jump a few feet off the court to hit the ball into the server's box on the table - this can come in handy on any given day.

8. How to serve with power 
The video above demonstrates how to serve with enormous power. 
Although I have a long way to go, I bend my knees with my racket head over my head then put as much shoulder and wrist as possible into the serve. 

9. How to baffle with your serve 
Put different spins, speeds and movement on the ball.
If you have different methods, vary the times you use them.

10. Rookie mistakes to avoid
Keep your knees bent and make sure not to overrun the ball by stopping in time to hit the ball when it's not far in front of you.
Standing too erect and overrunning the ball are mistakes often committed by new/inexperienced hitters I play with.

11. Staying warm on the court
Kick your legs up or jump a few times here and there. 
●  If you don't have balls to pick up while those on the other side do, consider hitting the ball you have in your pocket hard against the backboard, especially if it's early in the season and you're not in mid-season form.

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