One of the most frequent requests I hear from my students is how to achieve more power. After a short discussion and acknowledgement of the first priorities of getting the ball in and getting the ball in away from the opponent, the goal of power may be addressed.
The two biggest components to execute with power are:
►Keep the ball away from your body
►Relax the swing.
Most players get too close to the ball (on all shots), preventing a full turn and extension. Balls hit close to the body result in a “chicken arm” follow through, lacking a long finish. While it may be glamorous to hit hard consistently from the baseline, the operative word in this sentence is consistently. The goal should be to hit harder when the situation dictates.
Start by working on hitting harder on chest-high balls from the service line. Track the ball by placing your non-dominant hand on the forehand in front of your body like a stop sign to maintain distance from the body and promote a powerful swing. Finish by driving your racket out and not around your body. A long swing maintains the kinetic chain of the body, producing power. Secondly, playing with a “spaghetti arm” will generate pace necessary for power and contribute to your rpm’s.
Hitting down and covering the ball with your racket on the finish with your spaghetti arm will build confidence and allow you to try power from a little further back each time. This technique can also be morphed into a swinging forehand volley.
To get more power, keep your distance from the ball and swing with a spaghetti arm.
Mike Puc has been the Director of Tennis at Gleneagles Country Club in Delray Beach, Fla. since 1998. A winner of 15 national titles and an ATP world ranking, Mike directs 25 teams with 350 players in nine leagues, while offering the most extensive Calendar of Events in South Florida that includes tournaments, lectures and social round-robins.