How Hard To Hit?

Some of us fall into the trap of trying to overpower a groundstroke on a critical point. I know from punchfirst-hand experience that I have done this on too many occasions.

But how hard SHOULD you hit the ball?

My New Hampshire tennis buddy, and former teaching pro, B. Manning and I have discussed this many times. In a situation where you are returning serve in singles and are ahead 0-30, or you have worked the point and have an open court to hit to, you want to be aggressive, but not too aggressive.

On an Aggressive Scale of 1 (whimp) to 10 (belt it as hard as you can), I would argue you should limit your power to about a 6 or a 7. For B, he feels it should be more like a 7 or 8.

The Answer is 6.88

But my friend has given me a great mental cue to say to myself as I get ready to hit that return or ground stroke… “6.88”

What that says to my brain is: be aggressive, hit the ball hard, but not so hard as to not keep it in play and be out of control. It ends up giving me just the right mindset to play the critical point well.

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1 thought on “How Hard To Hit?

  1. Can I at least blast it at 0-40?

    Marc – I was playing in a dubs tournament with a younger partner and winning the finals 6-2, 5-1 with my partner serving at match point. I said “OK, stay steady and get your first serve in.” He responded, “I am going to hit this ball as hard as i can, so i suggest you just get out of the way!” He did. And we won. tks, geo

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