So how can you keep your head still when you’re making a serious shot at a game of tennis and not look up from the tennis ball. Surely you’ve seen the tennis pros do just that and they keep a very steel, level head and only look up after they’ve completed their follow-through.
Surely if your tennis coach has told you to keep a still head or watch the tennis ball, don’t move your head and yet you find it very difficult to do, so what is stopping us from keeping our head down.
So how can we learn to do that and why is keeping your head still when you’re making contact so important. Why why do we have to do it, well the main reason is that if we are approaching the ball with the racket and we’ve lined up for the ball our brain has calculated a very exact path into the ball with our sweet spot. So lets uncover how to keep your eye on the ball when playing a game of tennis.
So as soon as we move our head away we’re also going to pull the shoulders away and our shoulders are going to move the arm and the arm is going to move the racket a bit and we’re not going to hit the ball in the middle anymore.
How To Keep Your Eye On The Tennis Ball When Playing a Match of Tennis
In fact the sweet spot on the tennis racket is actually very small. It’s about this big and so if you’re hitting the ball somewhere in the sweet spot then the tennis racket is very powerful indeed. It’s very bouncy but as soon as you hit the ball off the sweet spot even if by a few centimeters you will hit with much less power because the racket is not so bouncy.
It’s All About The Bounce When Keeping an Eye on the Tennis Ball
You see the string bed is not so bouncy and this power drops off very quickly just by a few centimeters off the center and you hit with 30 or 40 percent less power. So the main reason is that if we’re pulling away the head we are miss hitting the ball slightly and therefore we were not hitting a good ball as the racket doesn’t give the ball good power.
The second reason is that if we are moving the head away at the moment of contact so we disturb our balance a little bit because the balance is in our inner ear and so if we jerkily move the head at the moment of contact we disturb our balance a little bit and again that affects our ability to hit a good shot with our tennis racket.
So those are the main reasons why we should watch the tennis ball closely. Now I know that when you’re playing you probably never miss the ball and that’s why you don’t feel that it’s so important to watch the ball you never completely miss the ball you always hit the ball on the racket even if you don’t watch it very carefully.
Watch Out for Those Tennis Match Perfectionists
Even if you don’t keep a very cool head so that’s why it doesn’t feel that it’s so important to watch the ball but when you come to a bit higher level of tennis you will start to feel a very big difference between hitting the ball in the sweet spot and hitting the ball off the sweet spot.
Plus hitting the ball off the sweet spot immediately makes a short ball and you will be in trouble as someone can attack you and so that’s why you want to hit good shots most of the time as much as you can and the only way to do that is to really really pay attention to the ball and not move your head when you’re making a shot.
Before we go on to learning how to keep your head still at the point of contact we have to address the reasons why you can’t keep your head down. I know of three mental reasons in one physical one. The first mental reason is that as you’re about to hit the ball you look up to see where your opponent is going, so you want to see if your opponent’s going to the right then you’re going to play to the left.
Watch Your Opponent Closely on the Tennis Court
Now I have to tell you that an experienced tennis player is not looking where their opponent is going there are two reasons; the first one is that your opponent if there have any skill in tennis they’re going to go back to the middle of the angles that you can hit and they’re going to split step.
So what your opponent is doing is that they are recovering; they are essentially waiting for your next move so they are recovering they’ve just hit a shot they are recovering back to the middle of the angles and they’re going to split step why are they going to split step so that you can’t wrong-foot them.
An experienced player split steps and they’re waiting for their move so there’s nothing to see there always recovering on every shot that you play after they’ve hit their shot they are recovering. So what are you going to see is that they’re always coming back to the middle and they split step.
One Example of Why You Must Watch Your Tennis Opponent Like a Hawk
Here’s an example of why there’s no need to look at your opponent like a hawk tracks its prey because we’re always recovering. As you can see I’ve stretched with my previous shot my opponent and I’m playing down the line. I’m watching the ball, not him that’s because my opponent is recovering so the same goes for him.
You can see that his head is towards the ball because I’ve recovered so I’m coming back to the middle and I’m covering the court so you can see that in all instances when we’re hitting the ball were not looking at more opponent because there’s nothing to see. You can especially see this on the last shot.
Masterful Tennis Tactics and Opponent Management
You see my tennis opponent he’s looking at the tennis ball because he knows I’ve recovered my game. So he’s just looking to make clean contact and even here he knows that I’m not running blindly to the open court that I will split step. Head on over to part two for extra keep your eye on the tennis ball tips!