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Total Control: Practice each component each time you play

December 21, 2012 09:52 AM
Control has many components and you’ll do well to practice all of them each time you play.
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By Nick Bolletieri
 
Most players train to hit the ball harder, or to run faster or become stronger. Power, strength and speed can take you far in tennis, but you can offset shortcomings in these areas by practicing control. Most students define control as accuracy. But it’s only part of the definition. Control has many components and you’ll do well to practice all of them each time you play.
 
CLICK HERE for a video of Nick discussing important aspects of control and how to apply them to your games.
 
There will be many moments in matches where you instantly go from being in control to being out of control. A common problem occurs when your opponent disrupts a rally you’re controlling by hitting a shot behind you, causing you to change directions quickly. Here’s what you do:
 
THE DRILL:
 
1. Stop, keep your balance and push off your outside foot to get your body moving in the opposite direction with a crossover step. Then start your movement depending on how far away the ball is. 
  
Most players train to hit the ball harder, or to run faster or become stronger. Power, strength and speed can take you far in tennis, but you can offset shortcomings in these areas by practicing control. Most students define control as accuracy. But it’s only part of the definition. Control has many components and you’ll do well to practice all of them each time you play.
 
There will be many moments in matches where you instantly go from being in control to being out of control. A common problem occurs when your opponent disrupts a rally you’re controlling by hitting a shot behind you, causing you to change directions quickly. Here’s what you do:
 
THE DRILL:
 
1. Stop, keep your balance and push off your outside foot to get your body moving in the opposite direction with a crossover step. Then start your movement depending on how far away the ball is.
 
2. As you start your movement, you must also start your swing pattern. Have your racquet back and in position to swing once you’ve reached the ball.
 
3. Don’t hit a short defensive ball. Try to hit a deep topspin shot or even a deep slice. This will give you a chance to recover for the next ball.
 
 
Nick Bollettieri, of the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy, has trained many collegiate and professional players, including 10 who reached the world No. 1 ranking.
 
 
 
 
 

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