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Moving Around to Play Forehand

Effective practice requires careful planning of systematic, purposeful drills. Here are some major points you should keep in mind:

  1. Correct Basic Posture: Ensure your weight is not too low and your stance is not too narrow, as this can hinder quick movements and lead to loss of balance. Hold your weight high and maintain a stance wide enough to preserve balance after moving.
  2. Practice Without Ball (Shadow Play): Practice both small and big movements by moving around to make a forehand stroke in various scenarios:
    • After a block shot
    • After a push shot
    • After returning a forehand-side near-the-net service to the opponent's backhand side with a push shot
    • After the ball is hit into your backhand side on the third or fourth ball in a forehand crosscourt or tramline rally. Perform these sequences alternately with and without a ball. Coordinate your body from the waist down, move the second foot quickly, and utilize your free hand effectively.
  3. Swing Fast: Similar to running, quick movements require fast arm movements. Ensure your swing is fast to improve footwork speed. Incorporate the speed of the backswing, swing proper, and back-to-neutral swing into one fluid motion.
  4. Striking Point: Aim to make early contact with the ball as it rises. Practice timing your strikes for early contact during the ball's ascent.
  5. Improve Ability to See Moving Objects Quickly: Cultivate the ability to see quickly to follow the speed of the ball and opponent's movements. Practice by reading advertisements from a moving train or bus to stimulate your sensorium and increase the speed of your body movements.
  6. How to Have the Ball in Your Backhand Court When You Want It There: Force your opponent into situations where they have no choice but to return the ball to your backhand side. For example, direct your service into the opponent's backhand-court side-line or use a disguising motion to encourage returns to your backhand court.
  7. Ability to Jump to the Ball: Develop the ability to jump to the ball quickly and confidently, enabling you to move around with agility and determination.
  8. Practice Footwork: Continuously work on footwork drills to ensure you hit from the correct position in relation to the ball. Focus on left-right, forward-backward, and all-round footwork.

Until next time, Play Right,