This is the first video in a series that will focus on mini-tennis skills and warm-ups that will help you gain better control of your racquet face and ball that translate nicely on the match court. Use these skills to warm up for a match, or practice with a partner before a hitting session. The goal of this Bump-Bounce-Hit mini rally is to gain total control over the ball which will translate to total control on the match court.
To start this tennis warm-up, position yourself across the net from your partner with both players standing on the service line. Start the rally by having your partner hit the ball so that it bounces to you (just like you would receive a groundstroke). Before hitting the ball back over the net, you first must bump it off your racquet, have it bounce on the ground and then stroke it back.
The trick of this warm-up is in the control of the bump so that you set yourself up to use sound technique when hitting the ball back to your partner. As the ball approaches, use a continental grip to slide your racquet under the ball creating backspin that will help absorb some of the incoming ball speed while also helping add an element of control on the ball. By adding a bit of underspin to your bump, you can aim your initial bump up and a few feet in front of you. The backspin will help keep the ball from going away from you and also soften up the contact. Practice this on both the forehand and backhand side to gain control over both wings.
In the next lesson in the mini-tennis warm-up series we will up the ante by controlling the ball without a bounce in a volley setting. Until next time!
Written by Dustin Blackburn, Certified Tennis Professional at Elite Sports Club-West Brookfield
Dustin is a USPTA P2 certified teaching pro who has been teaching full time since 2012. He began teaching tennis his senior year in high school where he worked at the Waukesha Tennis Association for 5 years. Upon graduating from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a degree in Physical Education, Dustin worked as a teaching pro at Lake Country Racquet and Athletic Club in Hartland, WI and then moved to be a Director of Tennis at Four Lakes Athletic Club in Elkhorn, WI. At the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh he was an Assistant coach for the women’s tennis team for three seasons under head coach Steve Francour. When Dustin is not on the court, he enjoys the great outdoors and spending time with family and friends.