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An age-old tip to fix your contact point. 



Category: Instruction


Before there were small racquets and soft tennis balls, instructors had to improvise when teaching the basics to beginners. Teaching pro Pepe Villamil liked the “hat trick” in the 1970s. He would cut out the strings on a wooden racquet, fit a big hat on it and instruct students to catch the ball.


The point is just as important now as it was then: Solid, consistent contact is easier to teach when the student doesn’t have to worry about whether the ball goes over the net or in the court. Villamil’s method lets the student concentrate on making the ball land in the center of the racquet. It also encourages them to continue to watch the ball, rather than immediately popping up. “This provides a challenging way for the student to learn to move on court, keep his eye on the ball—and accommodate the position of his body to the trajectory of the ball,” Villamil writes.


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