Coaching Tip - November 2022

Watch the Ball
This is a Common catch phrase
It is an Art so follow the tip below
To develop this skill

Many players think that you need to watch the ball at all times when the ball is play but this is not true.
Players should instead learn and practice to stop watching the ball and watch their opponent instead when the ball is at the other end of the court.

The key is
When to watch the ball
The player needs to

• see their opponent hit the ball i.e. the point of contact
• Follow the ball in its path towards them and pass over the net
• React to get into the best position to hit the ball after the bounce or on the full with a volley

Often players don’t see the contact point or the ball pass over the net until after the ball has bounced on their side of the net making it difficult to get into the correct position to hit the ball.

When NOT to watch the ball
The player after hitting the ball

• Should learn to watch their opponent NOT THE BALL
This skill will take a while to learn so try to adopt this process when you are on court hitting and also during your training sessions.
This will help to implement this new skill during your competition/ tournament matches.

Watching your opponent will help you to develop visual information which are keys to reacting to your opponent’s game i.e. their strengths and weaknesses as well as their movement.

Practice this skill during your regular practice hitting/match sessions so that it becomes a part of your game plan.

I hope that the above tip re “When to watch the ball” will help you take your game to the next level.

However it is still important to
Try not to confuse yourself by thinking too much.
Keep it Simple.
Relax and let it happen

Let me know if you can think of any other options to help you achieve a more consistent and effective physical and mental game.

Tennis the game of a lifetime

Contact me by Email if you have any comments or helpful Tennis hints.
Let me know the things that work for you.

Steve James
HEAD coach