Tennis Parents!

Hello, hope all of you are doing great out there. Today we touch-base rather quickly about FH and stance.

When it comes to FH shots which stance your child uses the most? Today, do one thing, ask your child about the various stances in tennis and since we are at the FH side try to keep the conversation to FH side. It matters what our child knows about different stances in tennis. For parents who are reading this article, you need to know just this much –

1) There are probably four popular stances in tennis
a) Open
b) Semi-open
c) Neutral
d) Closed

These are the days where picking the right stance from three choices that we have (a),(b) or (c) is a good thing. Closed stance is rarely taught and used.
But how about other three? Are they taught well?

At a very high level, a few things can be observed. If the child is relatively aware that open stance can be used from a particular position and in a specific situation as compared to semi-open or neutral stance, then the kid is in the right line of thinking.

Do ask your child in a casual conversation about their choice of stance while playing an FH shot and why. If your child has no clue about the FH stances, he/she uses and then it is the right time to talk to your team and understand why your child does not know about stance choices?

Now on to some quick details –
A correct FH stance needs to be taught right from the beginning. It takes time to settle this down as muscle memory. This makes it even more important to teach kids about stances and their importance as early as possible. It is going to take some time before they get it.

Some of the incoming tennis balls can be hit most efficiently by using an appropriate stance suitable for that moment. It is a decision that needs to be made quickly and finally like with everything else in tennis it is the question of muscle memory. For instance, if the ball is deep and there is less time to react, the open stance is a good choice. However, for a slightly short ball that our child gets it is great if they try and take it with semi-open of neutral stance depending on the ball. If your child plays predominately only with one stance, something is missing in their overall game. It needs to be corrected.

Moving a bit further and not too much in-depth.
Semi-open or neutral stance demands the right way of body weight transfer. Loading up and transferring the weight behind the shot is an art to master. Not so straightforward by the way. Needs a lot of practice and correct guidance as early as possible. The body weight makes all the difference. Our kids should know this technique of transferring the body weight behind their shots when a hard-earned opening appears.

Open stance, however, depends on uncoiling the upper body. Coiling and then uncoiling the upper body. Now, having said that you must have understood that anyone who has an excellent upper body strength can produce remarkable results when it comes to hitting the ball with the open stance.

Question – how much upper body strength a growing child can have?

Therefore, the shots that are played with open stance by our kids might have less power on it. Did you notice that? One thing leads to another. Now the choice we have is also to train our kids to take the first opportunity that arises and play with either semi-open or neutral stance.When the opportunity arises, and in U-10 to U-18 tournaments there are lots of such opportunities, our kids should be in a position to execute that shot well using semi-open or neutral stance.
At the pro circuit, the power of open stance comes with extraordinary upper body strength which they have to develop finally. Moreover, pros do hit a lot with semi-open and neutral stance too.
In growing children, it is a good idea to make them more aware of their stance selection. Sooner the better.
Last but not the least learning semi-open & neutral stance is all about transferring the body weight onto the shot in a crafty manner. This at times also leads to an excellent approach shot that can be completed at the net.
Why playing at the net is an essential aspect of the game? Read one of our articles here.

Note: At TuPA we have a team of experts and an ex-head coach Nick Bollettieri academy with us. They are based out of FL, US. Read more about her here
We at TuPA can help you to evaluate your child’s FH and where it has reached so far in their tennis journey. Contact us to know more about our TuPA Check and TuPA Elite programs which can help your growing child’s tennis skills.