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Tennis Coach's Corner

Tennis Tip

Presented by Bobby Pennington, Camp Director
Bobby Pennington's Tennis Camp at Colgate University

Tennis Tip: Staying with Direction of the Ball

Being First Tennis Tip

Ever struggle with your return? Both the serve and return are key to getting yourself into the point on the right foot, so building some consistency with these shots is very key. If you are struggling with your return of serve in a match, simplifying your target may help you get back on track. Colgate University Head Coach, Bobby Pennington suggests “stay with the direction of the ball,” giving yourself more room for error and hitting over the lowest part of the net. For example, if someone serves out wide, stay with the angle and aim back cross court. If you were to try and redirect up the line, you run the risk of miss-timing your shot and hitting the ball wide. If someone serves up the tee, however, it is wise to take your return more up the line, staying with the direction of the ball. See the diagram below for perspective. If you eliminate the “decision making” and simplify these targets, you should be able to gain some more consistency with your returns and work your way into the point better. 


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