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July 30, 2009

Approach Shot Insight






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Lee Couillard, USPTA, Head Tennis Professional, Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii explains the variations of the approach shot. The approach shot is a hybrid stroke, more so than any other shot in tennis. There are a variety of approach shots that you can use like the serve and volley approach, chip and charge approach, half-volley approach, swinging volley approach, deep approach, short angle approach, drop-shot approach and the moon-ball approach (this works great in junior tennis.) Without an approach shot, you'll be rooted on the baseline for life.

Approach shots need to be conditioned and driven from an early age, however, the personality and athletic ability of the player must also be considered. Are you a good leaper and lunger? How is your dynamic balance? Your opponent's strengths and weaknesses should always enter into what type of approach shot you decide to use. For example, how good are they on the dead run? What about just pressing them with a safe approach right down the middle of the court. Do they fold under moderate pressure or only extreme pressure?

You may not need all of the approach shots mentioned above, however, experiment with them and see what works best for your style of play. Remember that you are trying to set up a situation which will enable you to win the point with a volley when you reach the net. So the approach shot will rarely be a winner. Lastly, don't expect to make every volley and never get passed, that's an unrealistic expectation.

July 25, 2009

Topspin Approach







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Lee Couillard, USPTA, Head Tennis Professional, Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii explains the topspin approach. This is a risky shot due to the fact the ball will bounce up high into the strike zone of your opponent that may result in an easy passing shot.

July 20, 2009

Slice Approach







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Lee Couillard, USPTA, Head Tennis Professional, Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii explains the slice approach shot it greater detail. There are 3 different type of slice approach shots explained in this video. First, there is hitting an approach shot on a descending ball. Second, when hitting the ball while it is rising and lastly, when running in on a short ball like a descending drop shot.

Your opponentʻs strengths and weaknesses should always enter in what type of approach shot you decide to use. For example, in the modern game, many players use extreme grips on the forehand side and therefore have a better ability to pass on the acute cross-court angles where as if they have a two-handed backhand they are maybe more likely to favor a flat passing shot up the line. You will need to observe your opponent closely and try to detect patterns in his or her play during the match. Look for specific clues in the way they set up and then you can anticipate where the passing shots are going.

July 15, 2009

Drive Approach






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Lee Couillard, USPTA, Head Tennis Professional, Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii explains the approach shot it greater detail. Approach shots are not meant to be winners. They are set up shots for running into the net and hitting the volley. This video explains the "Drive Approach."

July 7, 2009

Athletic Stance






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Lee Couillard, USPTA, Head Tennis Professional, Punahou School, shows the "Athletic Stance" and why it is so important to use this before every return. Many players, especially the bigger and taller ones stand "Too Tall" when returning the serve. This "Too Tall" position does not allow the body to stretch out wide, on balance, to block the return. The wider stance lowers the center of gravity and propels the body toward the contact point.

July 2, 2009

Western Grip (Part 2)






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Bernard Gusman, USPTA, Tennis Director, Punahou School, USTA High Performance Coach, Honolulu, Hawaii explains the Western forehand grip. (Part 2)