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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Keep Your Eyes on the Ball - A Drill

Keep your eye on the ball - even if you can't see it...

Keeping your eye on the ball is hard. It really takes a lot of focus to maintain direct vision from the point of an opponent's contact until making contact with your own paddle. The method discussed in yesterday's post seems contrarian in that it espouses keeping your eye on the contact point post-contact. That would seem to necessitate even more focus. It takes practice and today's drill will show you how to improve this aspect of your game. We will again turn to the tennis world for this drill. The video we will review is from Ian of Essential Tennis and is called Watch the Ball: The Drill.

Target Drill

Description: The drilling player stands in the forehand court at the NVZ line. His drilling partner stands at the opposite baseline. A target is set up near the intersection of the NVZ line and sideline in the forehand court of the drilling partner. The drilling partner feeds easy balls so the drilling player is hitting forehand volleys. The drilling partner hits volleys toward the target while never looking at the target. The drilling player focuses on the incoming ball to the point of contact with his paddle and then maintains focus on the point of contact for 1-2 seconds post-contact.

Goal: This exercise trains the player to focus on the ball through contact, thus allowing for a better shot with clean paddle contact.

The normal reaction for a player is to follow his shot. The drill is to break the player's reaction habit. The player needs to understand that looking does not help make the shot. Looking actually lowers the probability of a good shot as focus is diverted from the shot-making effort.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, I was looking for ways to improve hand eye coordination and that's a good looking drill. I'm going to try it out and add it to my training routine. Thanks-Matt