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Tennis Tips - Groundstrokes
Photo by Arno Dimmling

How to Prepare Early for Your Groundstrokes

Get a practice partner to rally ground strokes with you. After a while, evaluate what’s happening. Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Were the balls played with topspin, slice, or were they flat?

2. Am I ready for the balls, taking most of them early, or am I late? Do I let the ball drop or take it on the rise?

3. What can I do to make my partner hit out of his/her comfort zone and hit me a short ball? Am I always looking for that short ball?

4. Where am I standing to take the ball? What kind of court position do I revert to under pressure?

5. Am I recovering to the baseline ASAP if I have to move backwards?

Remember that a ball taken early takes response time away from your opponent. Giving your opponent less time to react usually affects his/her ability to make the best shot selection. A good way to practice taking the ball early is to stand inside the baseline and rally with your partner who also is hitting from inside the baseline. If you hit the ball early with lots of spin, you will maintain control while being aggressive.

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