Many recreational players have a hard
time getting a rally started and that is because they do not know how to properly
feed the ball. So in today’s video I’m going to show you the right technique on
the feed. First let me show you the most common mistakes at the recreational
level and that is either feeding the ball with the eastern forehand grip or a
semi-western forehand grip. So what happens when you feed a ball with these
grips is that it’s usually gonna be too high. Now the other person has to hit
a high ball to get the rally started and it will usually not work. Or more
commonly what happens at the recreational level is that players will
leave the feed too short and now the other person has to reach and step up to
the feed and it’s very difficult to get a rhythm in a rally that way. And some
players will feed the ball with a backhand grip and what happens when you
feed with a backhand grip is that the ball will usually have side spin and now
it’s gonna be very tricky for the other person to get the rally started. What you
must do is feed with a continental grip. This is gonna give you the best chance
to get a nice flat straight ball with medium pace that’s gonna make it very
easy for your partner to get the rally started. Position yourself in an open
stance position when your’re feeding. This is most comfortable way to feed the ball. It’s
unnecessary to be completely sideways and now what you’re going to do is when
you’re in an open stance position and ready to feed do not take a full
backswing because when you do that usually the ball will fly too long. What
you’re going to do instead is point the tip of the racket towards the side fence
and you’re going to lay the ball in front of strings and simply accelerate
the racket across the body and something very interesting happens when you do
that. When the tip of the racket is pointing towards the side fence and you
accelerate across the body the tip of the racket will point back and your wrist
will lag behind the same way it does on a regular forehand And this will take place without you
being conscious of it. So when the tip of the racket is pointing here and I
accelerate from this position. See the tip of the racket ends up going back and
I’m not even aware that this action is taking place. Now do not throw the ball
too high because then you’ll have to wait for the ball to come down. This is
overall gonna make the feed more difficult. Simply lay the ball in front
of your strings. You put your hand across the body and just let the ball
sit there and then feed it. This is the easiest way to feed the ball. Position
your arm across lay the ball up and feed it to the other side. Now when it comes
to your finish I want you to point the tip of the racket towards the other side
and I want you to keep the finish on the feet relatively short. So it’s not gonna be
a full finish like you do on a regular forehand. Simply go from here to
here. This is all you need for your feed. The fascinating thing about the feed is
that it’s one of those shots that we don’t practice. It’s an intuitive shot. We
simply pick up the ball and feed it to the other side and it’s logical to think
that we should feed the ball in a linear way in other words going through the
ball but what happens in reality if we do that the ball we have a very
difficult time staying inside the court. It’s very easy to spray the ball
long if you hit through the ball like this. See if I go through the ball it
ball goes very far and now if I go across the body
with my feed I’ll get a lot more control and I don’t even have to exert as much
energy. See my body is more comfortable and I have to reach forward towards the
target and high-level players do not think about this we just simply pick up
a ball and we hit across the body intuitively but you as a recreational player
must do this consciously because this is a slower type of ball you can control
the arm action I want you to simply have the hand go across the body after you
meet the ball and the tip of the racket that should be lined up with your
non-dominant shoulder and pointing straight towards the other side it looks
something like this you’re gonna go across the body and then you’re gonna
stop the racket right here. If you follow these tips your feed is
gonna have a lot more control. Your partner is gonna shoot you less dirty
looks if you send a bad feed their way and you’re gonna have a more enjoyable
hitting session.

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Dennis Veasley

16 thoughts on “How to Feed a Tennis Ball”

  1. Step by step guide on how to correctly feed a tennis ball
    🎾 Use a continental grip
    🎾 Start in an open stance position
    🎾 Point the tip of the racquet towards the side fence
    🎾 Swing across the body
    🎾 Do not use your wrist
    🎾 For more depth/power swing high to low

  2. My partner always feeds too hard and ball knifes low and deep. I think he does this strategically so that I have to chip the ball back to him. I want to tell what a mess he makes of a simple feed but I can’t bring myself to tell him. So I take a couple of steps back and crush the ball back to him to send him a message.
    When I first started playing, I did use my normal forehand grip to feed but the ball was loopy and as I got more tired the ball went out. When I changed to the continental grip, It took about a couple of weeks to get the feel but it was pretty easy to develop the control. Although I like your lesson for a beginner, when you get good at this and develop a good feel, you can use just about any simple swing path. Just look at the pros just drop a ball from their pockets and swing up on the ball. Even better I do what Fed does sometimes by bouncing ball from the ground with my racket and swing up with one motion. Thanks for making this video.

  3. A great tip – I have been feeding moon balls or short dipping balls, just as you describe for years – much to my embarrassment and others frustrations. I am also terrible when feeding balls to the net for volley practice; should I also use a chopper grip when trying feed balls to the net? Thank you

  4. I understand and agree with you completely. But, I play with a partner that hates this because the ball comes to him at a slower pace. He feels it is not real. He wants me to feed with my normal Eastern forehand grip to simulate the actual groundstroke that he will be facing. Do you ever hear about this complaint? I both teach and play, so I tell him that when drilling, it is proper to feed with Continental. But, this is a player that likes pace. What do you think, please?

  5. Great video Nick !!! I was just talking about this with some of the guys in my tennis group and the proper way to feed. Now I can send them you video 🙂

  6. Thanks for providing excellent tips on an important topic for rec players. Many players feed by hitting the ball off the bounce, can you speak to pros and cons of this method versus hitting it in the air?

  7. Thanks so much – been failing for years. You think you should be able to start a rally with a nice, cleanly hit stroke & have a nice easy, cleanly struck rally. It hasn't been like that for me. Your video is going to change my life, he exaggerated. This lesson is going to uplift & transform my tennis expeeriunks! Thanks again.

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