– Hey guys, Scott and Nate
from PlayYourCourt.com, and today we’re going to
talk about tracking the ball for better contact. Alright guys, so today we’re talking about tracking the ball for better contact. To be clear, this video is for players with a player court
rating of 60 and below. If you’re not familiar
with our rating system or our community, a
player court rating of 60 is the equivalent of a
USTA three-point-five. So, Nate’s gonna go ahead
and take it from here. – Alright guys, so we’re gonna talk about how to track the ball for better contact. Alright, what is tracking? Tracking are visual cues
to what we’re looking to get an indicator of
the path of the ball. So, how do we know if
the ball is going deep? The thing that we’re looking for is a ball moving high above the net,
typically at least four feet, but on an average, six
to eight above the net. And the ball moving fairly fast. And that’s gonna give us
a pretty good indicator that the ball is coming deep, we need to move away from the ball. If the ball is below four feet, we still may need to move up to the ball, but if the ball is particularly fast, we don’t need to overplay
by rushing the ball. And if the ball is below
four feet and going slow, we really need to hustle up to this ball. So one of the major mistakes that we see with contact due to a tracking error, is that we rush up to a ball, and we try to hit it while it’s ascending. And so this may look familiar, but some of us out here
are moving up to balls and we’re getting caught with
this chicken wing jammed up. And we think it’s a faulty forehand, and what it is, it’s faulty tracking, leading to poor contact. So what it should feel like is the racket is using gravity to fall, and work up the ball. And if we’re not feeling that, there’s an error unless
we’re intentionally driving. This typically happens
at a much higher level. So, let’s back it up for a second. So, how can I fix this problem? The ball is coming in heavy, it’s got a height above six feet, it’s coming in fairly fast. What I’m gonna do is,
as I’m taking my racket back through its unit turn, I’m also going to move my feet
to get away from the ball, let the ball descend, let the ball drop, and this may be more than two steps. I may have to find myself all
the way back behind the court, and from here as the ball is descending, I find gravity, to help
me hit through the ball, creating better contact
and a better swing path. So, that’s gonna really help
us with some of the deep balls. With the short balls, again we’re looking for a
ball that’s below four feet, and we’re looking for a lack of speed. And on this ball we wanna be
a little quicker up to it. One of my favorite sayings
is fast feet, slow hands, or hurry up and wait. Right, because that’s
really what we’re doing. We’re gonna get up to
this ball, really fast, and then we’re gonna slow down and move our feet to get into position. So what we’re gonna do now
is Scott and I are going to show you a drill without rackets to help us track the ball and improve our tracking for better contact. Alright guys, as you can see
we’ve got Scott to join us and we’re gonna practice
tracking the ball. And as you’ve noticed, we
don’t have tennis rackets. All we need is this tennis ball. I mean really any ball
we can practice tracking. – So it’d probably be a tennis ball. – Don’t use a football, alright, but any ball, and preferably
a tennis ball is preferred. So, we’re gonna go ahead,
we’re gonna show you what this looks like. We’re gonna demonstrate this now. Alright guys we’ve got
Scott back at the baseline. One of the major things
that we’re gonna focus on here though is when Scott
goes to catch this ball, he wants to put an emphasis
on keeping his elbow in, and this is going to kind of demo what your forehand would feel like. Alright, obviously if you’re
reaching out for the ball, you’re gonna be out of your strike zone. So catching the ball,
we want that elbow in, to make sure that we’re tracking
to the correct strike zone. Alright, the first one
that we’re gonna do is we’re gonna get Scott
moving with a drop step, perhaps a side shuffle, letting that ball descend
to a second bounce. So you can see there he would have been swinging low to high. We’ll do it again. We’re giving him a little bit more height, a little bit more depth. Alright, now let’s go
ahead and demonstrate that real quick, what it looks like when we’re doing it incorrectly. He’s got a lot of height,
he’s moving up to it, alright and obviously jammed up. The strike zone gets really complicated, so there backing up is obviously
going to be the solution. Alright, so now I’m gonna leave
the ball a whole lot lower. We’re gonna have those
margins where the ball is below four feet on the net, it’s gonna have a lot less pace. I’m not throwing any of these super hard, but this one’s going to be pretty light. Let’s get him moving. Let’s do it one more time,
a little bit tougher. Let’s get him moving. You’re limber for a big guy. – [Scott] I do my best. – Alright so get out there with a buddy, with your friends, and try this. This is something that
seems, I know it seems very kind of simple, but it’s actually a drill that we did in college,
and that you’ll actually see a lot of the pros do. Now, they will make it more dynamic. If this is relatively easy for you, let’s make it a little bit
more difficult with two balls. So here I go deep to Scott, he’s catching, he’s
gonna toss it back to me, and I immediately give him another ball, that he’s moving to. So now we speed it up by
introducing two balls to him. Let’s do two more. You missed one man. – [Scott] Out of breath Nate. – Gotta hit that cardio my dude. – I know. Alright, an awesome drill
where he’s working on tracking the ball and
immediately if he gets out, hits, he’s gonna start realizing,
he’s gonna be watching the ball closer to see what height, what
speed it’s clearing the net, and he’s gonna be able
to swing more efficiently for better contact. Practicing this simple drill, you’re gonna improve
your tracking in no time. – So as deep as our
coaching experience is, we don’t know anything about your game, and we wanna help you
improve, so do us a favor. Click the button below, answer
a couple questions for us about your game so we can make sure we’re giving you the appropriate footwork for your skill level. Click the button below, we’ll do the rest.

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## 8 thoughts on “Quit SHANKING The Ball With This One SECRET”

1. Alex Daudsyah says:

Very awesome drill gentleman! How does one do this spacing drill for 1 hand backhands? I think for 2 hand backhands you can catch using your left hand since 2 hand backhands is like a left-handed forehand for righ-handers.

2. PlayYourCourt.com says:

Don't forget to check out the PlayYourCourt community to receive custom video coaching, find practice partners and improve your tennis game. Here's the link: http://bit.ly/2s21Ch5

3. Andrew Bailey says:

4 warm drills before matches

4. transklutz says:

It would be helpful to add the split step for quicker activated motion to the ball.

5. Miguel Barahona says:

When I first saw this video I thought, this is easy. I went to the wall and tried to do this drill, and failed to catch the ball the first 3 atempts! Now I do it better. Thanks.

6. Glen Schneer says:

Very insightful, Thx!

7. IPG says:

How do you practice thisnwith your back hand?

8. Michael Constantin says:

How do you work the backhand? Do you catch with the non dominant hand?