Push vs. Hitting   

In modern tennis groundstrokes, the idea of pushing is more adequate as you approach the ball than that of hitting through it.

In a hit you have fully accelerated by the time you make contact.

In a push, you feel as if you touch the object first and then exert your power.

To clarify this concept of pushing, restrain yourself by deliberately having your racquet approach the ball slowly, and then, as you are about to touch it, accelerate fully and forcefully to the finish, UP AND ACROSS.

Rather than a forward impact, work on brushing the ball as if ripping the cover off of it.

This gives you a longer contact and much more spin and control.

On the forehand and two handed backhands, most top pros pull across and backwards where the racquet head, at the finish, has described a full windshield-wiper and is pointing back, with the butt of the racquet as if taking a picture of where the ball is now going, and/or beyond that point.

Exaggeration? That may be the answer to improvement in your own game.

Have you noticed this finish in the best pros?

Oscar Wegner, TennisTeacher.com

Comments (3)
  1. Robert Barker Reply

    A pro once describe the concept of approaching a stroke as if, in football terms, you are a receiver catching a pass as opposed to a quarterback throwing a pass to your team mate seemed to resonate with me. It seemed to help me slow down and take more time on the shot. I still overrun shots but hopefully not as much.

    1. Oscar Wegner Reply

      Very well put, Robert. The best analogy so far. It is as if trying to catch the ball, then giving it your best whack. Check my DVDs to see how I magnify deflection rather than a direct strike. Martial arts anyone?

  2. Bill Howley Reply

    Like they have said for a million years, get off your back foot, stop trying to get the racket over your shoulder and behind you!

    The emphases should be on an accellerating racket, brushing the ball and OUT and UP (assuming a topspin shot). Racket butt position is important to force the extension of the racket. FH windshield washer has been taught by me for 30 year! Not so modern! Elbows up and forcing left hand drive up on follow thru to get racket butt and towards target should be the goal for the TS backhand.

    You are on the right track, just not sure about terms of pushing/ pulling.

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