by Thane Schweyer, Asst. General Manager YTC
One of the best tennis tips I can pass along is to "Freeze your eyes on the Point of Contact.” I learned this from Roy Barth, former professional player/former Director of Tennis at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort (#1 tennis resort in the world) when I worked there for several years. Roy learned this from his teacher, Maureen Connolly (winner of 9 Grand Slams).
Most coaches say to "watch the ball." This is a slight miscommunication as that is exactly what players do when they are on the court. Players watch the ball come to them and then watch the ball as it leaves. They never actually see the ball make contact with the racquet. You have to physically see the ball make contact with the strings every...single...shot..
If you are watching the point of contact correctly and long enough, you should not see the ball fly over the net. Here’s a video of Federer in slow motion. https://youtu.be/YUdOIOINhIY Check out his eyes on the contact point. He does it the most pronounced of any professional player, which may be one of the reasons why he's currently in the lead with the most Grand Slams on the ATP Tour.
Since the court never moves the key is to focus on that one shot that you are hitting and not worry about your opponent. In your mind, you would think about what the other person is doing based on the shot that you are receiving. You then just need to stay present with that shot you're hitting because without executing that shot properly you might not get the next shot because the point is over.
This is one of the best tips that I learned as a player that I continually pass along to players. It’s tough to master, but when you do you’ll find it will help your game immensely!