Article  GS701                                                                                                                                                                                                          


There are five elements to the strokes in playing tennis

1/.        Control

2/.        Placement

3/.        Depth

4/.        Spin

5/.        Power

All strokes should be learned roughly in this order.

We must learn to control the ball, how we hit the ball; we must learn to hit the ball softly as well as hard.

We have a saying in tennis: ‘It is easy to hit the ball hard, but hard to hit the ball easy’  and we have to learn the hard bit first. This takes time and
cannot be rushed.

Once you can control the ball, this will enable you to learn how and where to place the the ball. One of the ways you are going to be able to win at
tennis is to be able to place the ball where you want to, and often this is away from your opponent.

We are now in a position to look at depth, this is different to where we are able to place the ball. Depth covers hitting the ball short and close to the
net, and all of the variables until the ball hits the baseline. This requires being able to hit the ball at varying heights, to get the ball to the back of the
court, does not necessarily mean hitting it a lot harder. By hitting the ball a little higher over the net, achieves what you are trying to do.

To move on, it is now possible to add different types of spin, such as under-spin (slice or possibly a chop), side-spin and top-spin. There are other
combinations of these spins, but the above will suffice initially.  Of course there is still the flat hit to consider, although to get the ball over the net, even
a flat hit has some minor form of spin.

And finally, you can start adding power to your game. Please don’t mistake power with muscling the ball. To achieve power there are a number of
factors involved – the most important at this stage being good technique, followed by bio-mechanics and the kinetic chain – use of the turning of the
body and shoulders etc.  Even a change of grip will enable you to hit the ball harder and still get it in court.