17/03/2018

HOW TO HIT HARDER IN TENNIS

This is the ultimate hitting guide for tennis player!

Before we even talk about power hitting, you have to learn some basic theories about how power is generated from the body. Next you’ll learn about how to position your body so that all your power and body weight is being channeled efficiently into your hit. After this, you’ll learn the proper hitting technique in full detail to learn how to hit harder

Basic theories you must understand to hit hard:

  1. Speed is not Power – Power is acceleration times mass. Power is not only speed, you must have a force (or a weight) behind that speed. A fast hit will not hit hard unless you put some body weight behind it.
     
  2. Move Your Body – Moving your whole body one inch hits much harder than moving your arm one foot. You must move your entire body to get the maximum force (weight) behind that hit. The trick is not to focus on moving your body a great distance but rather to move it all at the same time.
     
  3. Use Your Legs – The biggest muscles in your body will generate the most power. People who hit only with their arms will never hit with real power.
     
  4. Stay Inside Your Range – Your strongest hit doesn’t land when your arms are fully out-stretched. Your stroke hits harder when it lands a bit shorter than your full range of motion. Don’t reach!

Flow Of Energy

  • FEET
    • They are spread on the ground a little wider than shoulder width.
    • The back foot always starts with the heel lifted.
    • When hitting, the feet will pivot in the direction of the stroke.
    • As you throw multiple hits, your feet will pivot back and forth pushing in different directions as you throw different hits.
    • When you throw a right handed hit, the right heel is lifted while the left foot is flat; the opposite is true when you throw a hit from the left hand.
    • Your feet never leave the ground when you throw a power hit.
       
  • LEGS
    • Knees are always slightly bent.
    • As you hit, you drop your bodyweight into your legs bending the knees slightly.
       
  • HIPS
    • Turn your hips. Spin them into your opponent as if you were punching your opponents with your hips.
       
  • UPPER BODY
    • Your torso should rotate as much as possible and spin the hit out from your shoulders.
    • A full rotation with short arm extension hits harder than a small rotation with full arm extension.
    • Don’t lean forward. Don’t try to reach forward, rotate instead!
       
  • SHOULDERS
    • Your shoulders are stay loose during the hit to keep the hits relaxed and save energy while increase speed and power.
    • Try to raise your shoulders during your hit. This makes the hit stronger since it’s now involving the shoulder muscles.
       
  • ARMS
    • Your arms start relaxed.
    • As the hit is thrown, your arms spring out towards your opponent extending just enough to hit the ball.
    • Don’t let your hits over-extend or else you’ll get countered.
       
  • HANDS
    • Your hands are relaxed when you are not hitting. You can make a loose fist but don’t clench it.
    • When you punch, that fist transforms into a brick as your deliver it to your racket and ball.
       
  • HEAD
    • Exhale sharply on every punch.
    • Your eyes are 100% alert. Always look at the target you’re hitting.
    • Your chin is tucked down a little so that it’s covered a bit by the shoulder on your hitting arm.

Everything I just described is called the flow of energy. You want to feel the energy traveling through your entire body from the feet to the fist. If one part of the body is lazy or feels uninvolved, you need to train harder to make that part of your body an active participant in the punch.

Aiming

  • Learn the distance of all your punches. Do it again with a quick front foot step. Try to keep your hits WITHIN this range.
  • Hitting too close or too far of a distance diminishes your power.
  • Forehand or backhand:
    • Stepping forward quickly will make this hit much stronger.
    • Extend your fist all the way and lift that front shoulder a little to really hit through the ball.
    • Don’t lean forward when you hit, save that momentum for your right cross.
    • Body rotation, body rotation, body rotation.
    • The ABSOLUTE best aim for this hit is not in front of you. I’ll tell you where it is; do this: extend your fist out as if you were to hit the ball. Really straighten out that left arm all the way and hold it. Now imagine your ball slipping to the left OUTSIDE of your hit and his face is about one foot to the left of your extend fist. That new space in the air that you are looking at now is your strongest hitting point. Don’t believe me? Try it on the punching bag. Stand to the right side instead of directly in front of the bag and over-rotate yourself counter-clockwise to hit the bag. Feel that power? GOOD!
    • Hit with your elbow, not with your fist and racket!
    • Don’t forget to spin both feet so that they’re pointing to the side when you hit.
    • As you hit, drop the right heel and lift the left heel to put leg strength into the left hook (ì you are lefty like me).
    • Swing your body weight from your back foot to your front foot and make sure you push your head into the stroke and look at where it’s hitting.
    • Also, don’t throw your head to the side when you hit, instead bring it forward but try to keep it in front of your ball target.

When to hit hard
This is a very important to learning when to hit hard. You can’t just hit hard anytime you want. You have to learn when to hit it. You have to be at a proper distance. Not just for the first hit but for the second one as well.

The best time to hit your opponent:

  • When he’s just hit – getting hit by a counter-hit hurts more than anything else.
  • When he’s not expecting it – you can achieve this by breaking through his defense.
  • From an angle – Hitting your opponent from an angle can harm him more, stun him better, and at the very least disrupt him for another hard hit.

Common Mistakes

  • Lifting Your Feet – if you lift your feet, you’ve taken your full body weight out of your hit’s power.
     
  • Reaching – Over-extending never does the trick. More often than not, you’ll just lose your balance and get countered. Over-committing will limit you to one hit whereas keeping your balance will allow you to throw several.
     
  • Hitting Too Fast – What happens is you get too excited and start throwing “arm hits” where it’s just arm power flying out really fast. Of course you’ve got tons of energy and it still feels like a hard hit but as time goes by, your arms tire and now you’ve got no power.
     
  • Stay Away From Weights – Trying to bench press to build your power punch is like lifting leg weights to break the sprint record. Although there are many conflicting articles out there that argue back and forth between whether or not lifting weights will aid your hit, the science is quite simple: when you lift weights, your body is becoming stronger at moving slow (punching is a fast movement). Not only that, but training with weights will only make you noticeably stronger within a limited range of motion. Your body will also be building unnatural muscle that will tire much faster than your regular muscle. If building truly powerful and effective muscle was possible, a great heavyweight boxer could easily be a great tennis player, right?

Power Hitting Exercises and Drills

  • Hit Slow – One of the best drills I give to everyone is I make them hit slow. I make them hit as hard as they can but slow. I make them go about half speed. What amazes everyone is that just about everybody I have taught realizes that they hit harder when they hit slower than when they do fast. The reason for this is because nobody’s body moves as fast as their arms do. The arm usually finishes the stroke before the body has even begun to rotate. By punching slow, they are allowing their entire body to get into the hit and to really help build the power. The drill is to stand square (feet side-by-side spread farther than shoulder width) in front of somebody with focus mitts and to throw alternating forehand and backhand. In between each hit, the player will POSE for 2 seconds as if taking a picture before beginning the next hit. Just try it! There are many exercises a tennis player can do to speed up the body, but for now the goal is to HIT SLOW!
     
  • Swimming – swimming is an AWESOME way to build power in your whole body. There aren’t too many other exercises that can build endurance and power in your entire body like swimming.
     
  • Isometric training – Lean at a wall and make a fist at it. Now push your fist into the wall like you’re throwing a punch that’s stuck. Give full effort for 10 seconds and then repeat on the other side. 15 reps and 3 sets per arm should be perfect. This is training your body how to store energy. You’re training your body, in a sense, to become a powerful rubberband and once the barrier is released – BAM!

In order to learn how to hit harder, you must be willing to forget everything you know and try new things. As with everything, tennis is an art and there is always room for improvement. Players that think they know everything will never be able to learn how to hit harder. Keeping an open mind and paying attention to techniques and strategies that are not your own is the best way to learn. Respect hitting techniques different from your own and see how you can incorporate their techniques into your own.

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