SPLIT STEP TENNIS
Foster City, CA 94404
Written by Albert Vial
As a coach and mentor, my goal is to shape your talents, regardless of your level. Your goal is to put forth the effort and do your personal best. The elements of tennis effects and directs personal growth and improvement very differently between every student.
Every lesson is different and you will learn the following elements: a technique, a tactic, a mental concept, a conditioning and footwork routine, or combination of the elements.
Your next step is to practice. How do you practice?
How to practice on and off the court.
On the court.
Regardless of theme of lesson, practice with 100% focus, effort and intensity.
After lesson, how do you practice?
After every lesson, I review and recommend you take note of what was learned by inputting into phone or note card, then recommending you practice with a purpose.
What did we work on today's lesson?
View your notes and sometime before our next lesson go on to the court and practice that element of the game - your purpose.
Options on how to practice with purpose.
If you are practicing alone, below are some options:
Get a basket of balls and head out to the court.
Below are warm-up routines that start at the baseline and move up towards service line. The toss needs to be consistent, dependable and accurate. Do each warm up, twice. Ball should NOT land in service square box. You are "feeling" the motion.
Shadow serving: Racket, no ball. Shadow your service motion while walking towards the service line. Pay attention to full racket extension at contact. Focus on a smooth, controlled, separation and full extension.
One ball toss: No racket. Shadow service motion but throw one ball, at a time, over the net while walking forward after every throw. Pay attention to full extension and arc of ball. As you move closer to service line ball should hit back fence.
Two ball toss: No racket. One ball in each hand. Shadow service motion by tossing one up and throw the other ball to make a collision, with the other, up above.
You may rent a ball machine from your local tennis store. A ball machine is a good way to incorporate a new skill into your game or to work out a bad habit. The machine simply throws balls to you so you can practice a specific stroke or shot, with no pressure to hit the ball back to a person or to a specific spot on the court. This allows you to "feel" the stroke. Work on efficient tennis technique- smooth, effortless yet powerful tennis strokes that are able to achieve maximum racket head speed with the least amount of energy. Avoid setting the machine to throw too fast or too quickly, as it may be out of your comfort level. Take it slow, focusing on the changes you want to incorporate into your game.
Hitting against wall
When a partner can’t be found, a backboard will do. Practicing against a wall is eye-opening. It never misses. This activity forces you to quicken your reflexes, develop more strength (because the ball comes back as hard as you hit it in the first place),
and to become accurate. If you hit the ball four feet to the left of your intended target, then it will angle away from you in a hurry. Instead of worrying about a formal practice regimen, simply experiment yourself. You will likely hit more balls in fifteen minutes against a backboard then during two sets of a typical hard court match.. Focus on being as consistent as possible. If you over hit or hit too hard, most of your time will be spent picking up balls. Be patient and work your strokes and footwork, not your power. Most of all… have fun.
Below is a 6 minute video of me hitting against a backboard. During the 6 minute, I hit 188 balls - 106 forehands, 82 backhands That was quality practice. Looking at video, I have room for improvement.