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May 1, 2009
Tennis Strokes: The Dreaded High Ball


Welcome to all the new subscribers to my email tennis lessons.  You will receive one long lesson on the first of every month and some quick tips in between.

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Remember the basic principles for learning tennis with my system is to develop a 'feel' for different strokes along with developing mental skills through REPETITION.  Repetition of simple procedures create that 'feel' NOT an over emphasis on the technical skills and mechanics.  Click here for an article that I wrote on 'feel' vs 'mechanics' in April 2001

Tom's Online Tennis Lesson
Tennis Strokes: The Dreaded High Ball

As a tennis coach, I am often asked about those 'traditional techniques' that seem to only confuse players. Recently, a student asked me if he should always hit the ball at waist level. I thought to myself, "Oh no, not the 'hitting every ball waist high' myth again!" I answered, "Not all the time. You must learn to hit the ball from all different positions, whether it is close to the body, hip high, knee high or shoulder high. Just do whatever the situation dictates for the moment. After I explained this to the student I expected to hear, "Well that's not what most pros have told me," or, "That's not what I've read." Instead, the student shocked me with, "Okay, that makes sense." And off he went to conquer the courts!

Many, many players still believe they must hit every ball waist high. But the more you learn, the more you play, and the more you watch pros, the more you realize that hitting every ball waist high is impossible! It is not that hitting a ball waist high is wrong. Since the ball is in the optimum hitting zone when at waist level, hitting waist high is an easier shot for most players. That is where all the confusion comes into play. If most players have not reached a level of play where they are capable of hitting balls at all different heights, they will believe that their best shot (waist high) is the correct height to hit all balls. Here the myth is formed. Many players and coaches who utilize traditional concepts believe and teach (especially in the beginning) that hitting waist high is the key to playing good tennis. But it is not! Hitting waist high is a more comfortable zone to hit a ball, but not realistic for all shots. To frantically run all over the court forcing yourself to hit waist high is mind-boggling and extremely difficult!

You must learn to hit tennis balls at all different heights. That is the nature of competition. That is realistic! Of course, one of the most difficult shots to hit is a ball shoulder high or higher. I know that many of you have painfully attempted to learn a technique to master the shoulder-high ball, but all you have received in return is discouragement and frustration. I will not offer you a technique or an exact mechanic to help you learn to hit high balls, but I will use an illustration to briefly explain how you can begin the process of mastering high balls. Click below for an article and a video on this topic. Be sure to turn on your speakers.

Click here for an article and a video on this topic

Your tennis pro,

Tom Veneziano


ADDENDUM:  I teach a total system of thinking in regard to stroke production and mental attitude which I cannot explain in one email.  Although each lesson can stand alone you will derive tremendous physical and mental benefit by understanding the total philosophy.  These emails, my web site, books, and tapes are part of a course in tennis, not just isolated tennis tips.  They all fit together into a system.  A system that once understood can help you not only learn tennis at a faster rate, and develop mental toughness, but also give you the knowledge necessary to help guide you and your children to a better understanding of the developmental process.

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