Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 15 seconds

FH is a big weapon in today’s tennis. It is hit from anywhere on the court these days. However, at times courts are very slow, slow, fast and then very fast. How do we make sure our children are learning correctly about a critical aspect of FH – it’s timings.

Yes, we know they have been practising, some for a year and some for many years but do we know if their FH timing is okay? How do we quickly check that? One way is to ask your team about the same and what they think when it comes to your child’s FH timings. It is a good check to do and an important one. A correct FH timing is also directly related to the overall FH technique your child has developed so far.

If you want to go a little further, you can also attempt the following –

1) Try to record your child’s FH when playing a rally (not feeding) and make sure that the tennis ball is also visible. Record it from the angle given below in Pic 1.0. The ball is where the green dot is.

 Pic 1.0

2) Now when the racket on the FH side reaches the lock position just try to see where the ball has reached. What is a lock position? It is shown in Pic 2.0

Pic 2.0

3) Back to the ball – see closely is it about to land on the court or about to bounce after landing and if your child’s FH is in the lock position. If these two things (ball bounce and FH lock) are in sync as explained above (in clay colour) – FH timings are doing okay!
4) Otherwise, they are late. Pic 1 above is an example of late FH timings.
5) Again what are the correct FH timings?
When the FH is in a lock position, and the tennis ball is about to bounce or has just risen after bouncing – FH timings are okay.

If you feel your child is hitting the FH late, you must talk to your team and see what they have to say about the same. Hitting late FH could be for various reasons, and if this remains as a lapse, getting to the BIG FH can take some time (because it needs to be fixed now) or at times we never get there (if this remains unnoticed and not fixed!)

Check your child’s FH timing today. Record with your phone video camera and pause the video at a time when the ball just bounces on the court. See the FH position at this time, is it in lock position?

Plan your next steps towards improvement if needed.