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How to practice your baseline tennis shots

In order to improve the quality of the baseline shots, there are a few basic rules that you should stick to:

  1. If you want to see improvement, you need to do a series of between minimum 80-120 shots. Do app. ten identical shots, then take a little break, then repeat until you have done at least 80 total. This may seem boring, but it is necessary.
  2. Do not try to practice too many different shots in one session. Usually, you should focus on one or maybe two techniques in one session if you really want results.
  3. Judge the quality of your shot by: consistency, depth, precision, speed (in this sequence!). When you practise, set your goal accordingly - first, try to hit the ball into the court with high consistency, then try to land your ball in the second half of the court all the time (or choose an area closer to the baseline. If the results are good, mark a smaller area on the court and try to hit this area. Speed of ball is actually the last thing that should be on your mind, unless you are already playing at a very high level. Most players think about speed first, and that is a big mistake. Have you ever wondered why those young guys lose very often to veteran players who play at half the speed the young guys are hitting the ball with? The veteran players know that depth, precision and the right strategy are more important than trying to hit every ball with maximum power. Even a ball hit at moderate speed still travels faster than your opponent can run.
  4. Practise your shot from different positions on the court, and if you are practising with your coach, have him feed you balls from different spots of the court as well. That way, practise all variations: crossshot after the opponent has played a shot down the line, down the line after a crossshot, deep shots from the middle of the court, consistency shots from 3 meters behind the baseline, passing shots from various positions when your opponent is in a position close to the net,just to name a few. Just think about a possible situation in a match, and you can develop a practice routine.