THE SOUND OF MUSIC. You can measure the quality of your footwork by the sound of the ball coming off of your racquet—it’s like music to the ears.  That sound is due to the compression of the ball against the tension of your strings. If you are balanced and shifting your weight as you make contact with the ball, you will hear a beautiful percussion type sound—like a “” when the ball leaves the racquet. (

MOVE NATURALLY.  When you execute a heavy backspin or topspin shot, you will hear a “swhish” sound.  A ball hit more squarely with the same spin on or near your racquet’s sweet-spot will have more pace, will penetrate more through the court, take less effort, and just feel better than one hit off-center. There is definitely a “sweet pitch” sound when the ball is struck solidly on the strings versus off-center . But this is all made possible by your good footwork.

Good footwork, moving as though you are catching the ball and hitting from an open stance, will put you closer to the ball, enabling you to more easily track the ball into your contact zone, which leads to better contact with the ball. Hitting from a closed stance actually moves your racquet hand further away from the ball and your contact point, leaving you choice but to reach back awkwardly across your body to contact the ball. This leads to many mis-hits. Also, balls hit off-center can contribute to tennis elbow, especially when hit on the frame. See how many times you can make this wonderful sound during your next warm-up or practice session. The better your footwork, the more often you will hear this beautiful sound.

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