Craig is available for lessons at all levels of play with members and non-members at Bent Tree Country Club. Following are a couple of Craig's favorite tips to share with you. For more information about lessons and to schedule a time, be sure to call 972-931-7326.
Tennis Tip - "Move Like a Placekicker When Returning Serve"
Tip published in Tennis Magazine, November 1988
Do your service returns often land so short in your opponent's court that he's able to knock the ball right back past you? If that's the case, chances are you're not getting enough of your body into the return, and your're paying the price in depth and pace. So much of a good return depends on good weight transfer - moving forward into the ball. But too many players allow their opponent's serve to come to them instead of moving forward into the point of contact.
Take a tip from a football placekicker. He doesn't kick the ball from a standing position. Rather, he takes a set number of steps back from the point of contact and then moves forward into the ball and kicks it. His momentum carries him through the point of contact and he is better able to put some force behind the kick.
Likewise, when your opponent tosses the ball in the air on the serve, you should take a step or two forward so that you can step into the ball and hit it on the rise. You'll be able to make more solid contact and add a bit of "kick" to your return.
Tennis Tip - "Pick the Highest Apple" on your Serve
Do you need a little extra "umph" on your serve? Try reaching up and hitting your service toss at the highest point - right when it pauses before gravity pulls it back to the court. This way your body and your racquet arm will be fully stretched out and in the most body efficient position in order to hit the ball with maximum power and force. Much like an apple picker getting on his or her tip toes to pick the highest apple out of the tree - knowing it's the best apple.
By reaching up and extending your arm and body, you will get the added "juice" you need on your serve in order to keep your opponent(s) pinned back behind the baseline!