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How To Aim In Tennis?

Hi guys Nick here from Intuitive Tennis. How
do we aim in tennis? How do we get the ball to the desired location? Is this
something that we are aware of, that we’re mechanically doing, or is it an
intuitive process? Check out today’s video and find out. There are basically
just two directions in which we can strike a tennis ball. We can hit it
straight or we can hit it diagonally. So if we stand in the middle of the court
and if we hit the ball straight. That is a straight ball. If we hit it let’s say
inside out with the forehand to this corner. This would be a diagonal ball or
a cross-court ball and if we hit it diagonally over to the left.
That’s a cross-court ball. Now depending on where I’m standing on the court, so
if I’m hitting a forehand from over here. If I hit it down the line that is still
a straight ball. And the same goes for the backhand side. If I hit a backhand from the middle of the court. It’s a basically a straight ball and this
doesn’t change if I go over here and hit it down the line. That is still a
straight ball. So there’s a big importance in learning how to hit down
the middle. If you know how to hit down the middle you will later on be able to
hit down line very easily. So what are the mechanics behind
directional control? Basically it’s a small change in the angle of your racquet.
That’s going to determine where the ball is going to go and the further away from
the net you are the smaller this angle has to be. So for example, if I, you can
look from this angle, if I was going to hit a ball straight down the middle of the
court. You see now this is would be parallel to the net if we imagine the
net being in front of me. So if my racquet goes slightly this way from the baseline
this would be enough to make the ball go inside-out and then if my racket angle
is slightly over this way, this would be enough to send the ball from
the baseline over towards the cross-court side. If we are closer to the
net however, and we’re trying to do a angled volley, this angle of the racquet
face is gonna be more drastic. So if I’m at the net and the angle of my racket
face is like this. This is gonna give me a nice cross-court angle towards the other
side. Therefore, the further away from the net
I am the smaller this angle of the racquet face has to be to give me
directional control. To illustrate how small this angle has to be, is basically
if we turn the racquet parallel to the baseline like this and this would send
the ball straight down the middle of the court and if I change this angle just a
little bit. See there’s a very small degree of change, like the tip of my
racquet is is still on the baseline and if you follow this line and you can see
here that the ball if we just follow this line it’s going to go basically
towards the singles line on the other side. So you can see how small this angle
is that’s going to determine the direction of our ball. How do we aim? Well it’s a completely
intuitive process and the opposite of doing it intuitively would be to
literally aim with your racquet towards the intended target and this is what
many beginners or even some intermediate players have a trouble with. So basically
the player would slow down the contact zone of the stroke and literally aim
towards the desired target like this and what this does it takes the entire
acceleration out of the stroke it takes the racquet head speed out of the stroke and
now you’re left with kind of a pushy and slow shot. What has to happen instead we
must do this directional control intuitively. In other words, we’re simply
going to select the desired location of the incoming ball and then we’re going
to simply do it. We learned this very early on and this is learned and maybe
in the first two or three months of playing tennis. We figure out how to make
this small change in the racquet face completely subconsciously and so
basically we are simply picking the spot in our head and we’re simply going there
and so this shot I’m going to go down the line I’m not thinking how I’m gonna
do it, but I’m simply gonna aim there and I’m going to maintain my racquet head speed. This
was cross-court and the same goes on the serve. If you do it the other way around
you will be forced to slow down and you will lose your racket speed. Many of my
students are actually not aware that they have this ability to aim
intuitively and they’re very surprised when I tell them. Don’t think about the
target and simply pick the target in your head and go there and it works like
magic so try it out next time you’re on the court instead of thinking about what
happens at the contact point, simply select the desired location of the shot
and then simply execute it without losing acceleration and that way you can
maintain your racquet head speed. Thank you guys for watching this video. I hope
you enjoyed it. Please hit that like button and subscribe if you haven’t
already and leave a comment in the section below I will be happy to respond.
I’ll see you next time.

David Frank



  1. Jorge Ferrada Posted on December 14, 2018 at 2:12 pm


  2. Jonathan Hernandez Posted on December 14, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    I thought on the serve that you throw your elbow towards your target ??

  3. sfbusinessfinancing Posted on December 14, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Great instructor. Others always seem to have a tip/fix/answer for every little thing when in fact, one can learn Intuitively with proper training on basic techniques and practice/repetition. True in other sports, too.

  4. Alen X Posted on December 14, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    You have a gift for coaching dude, you not only have a very deep understanding of how things work, but the ability to explain every important thing without overcomplicating it and is easily understandable, really amazing, im seriously impressed.

  5. catalin simescu Posted on December 17, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Good advice,thank you.

  6. Penn Su Posted on December 17, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    I would say there is a hybrid way to train for your intuitiveness of directional control by thinking about how your arm is extending relative to the contact point of the ball. I think it is not the same for everyone since everyone has slightly different body, but in my opinion that general idea should be working for everybody, the intuitiveness shouldn't be a black box, but should be experience on the timing in my opinion.

  7. Raul Tennis Posted on December 17, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    I have been told it is wrong to adjust the stance to control direction. For example, serve down the Deuce T in doubles, and you want to hit inside-out one hand backhand away from the net player. Most 3.5 players have difficulty hitting inside out consistently. It seems easier to do by adjusting the feet position to point towards the target — . There is no issue of disguise as everyone knows the shot is going cross court away from net player… Why is this considered wrong?

  8. Robert Sutherland Posted on December 19, 2018 at 3:20 am

    Ball direction is the swing direction COMBINED with the racquet face angle. A forehand topspin hook shot can go to the target by swinging up, tilting the racquet slightly forward, and swinging inside out slightly and hitting above the horizontal middle of the ball, while working the racquet around the outside of the ball. The aim for the target is compensated for by aiming to allow for the hook (which may be a 2 foot right to left swing). To make like the racquet face alone is the key is not accounting for other direction vectors, in the forward swing angle, the upward or downward swing angle, and inside out or outside in swing angles.

  9. roslee sulong Posted on March 23, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    This is what i'm looking for. Great tips and video. As i watched my videos on professional players like Federer, djokovic and etc during their practise session, they had a perfect stroke and rally each other. What i mean is that the ball will always go to the middle of the other court and also easy for the other opponent to return the stroke or rally

  10. Intuitive Tennis Posted on May 17, 2019 at 7:16 pm

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  11. chess brillance Posted on August 17, 2019 at 9:28 am

    I saw somewhere in YouTube that you have to set up your feet a certain way in order to aim in a direction. Is that true? . I also feel that when I consciously trying to aim in a direction I struggle a lot more than when I am in autopilot mode, like I see the guy at the net, I have no choice but to hit a passing down the line. I manage to do this without overthinking the technical process. Like someone is playing video game with me. It's really weird.