1.) Not setting the feet into a semi-open stance .i.e. both feet are not facing the side fence and/or the feet are too close together
2.) Not letting the ball drop into the strike zone. This is very common as players tend to rush the shot and want to finish the point off too quickly. This makes them hit down on the shot and hit the ball into the net. Plus, they also lose power.
3.) Losing the angles in the legs means the player comes up with their legs as they hit the ball. The legs straighten up and all balance and athletic loading of the muscles is lost .A really good way to fix this is to have the player able to see the ball that they have just hit bounce under the tape of the net as they are looking through the net. Or wear an athletic training belt that has a bungee chord attaches to the waist and pull down to stop the player jumping. It is important to snap the hips not jump up.
4.) Kicking the leg to the side fence is also common instead of curling the leg to the butt (leg curl). This tends to make you fall off the shot and lose balance and power while also dragging the ball into the net. It is important to keep a vertical body axis and keep the chest up.
5.) Having all the weight on the front leg. Like the step down the weight needs to go from the back foot to the front foot. A lot of the time this comes from the initial set up into the stance. I like to teach stepping from the front foot BACK into the semi-open stance….you can’t transfer your weight if you don’t know where your weight is!!! You need 65 percent of the weight on the back foot!
1. Freeze the finish ….a lot of players try and recover too early and do not get full extension with their swing. Hold the shot as if posing for a photograph. Sometimes (when doing fed ball)….I like them to hold their balance till the ball hits the back fence just so they can get this concept of holding the shot.
2. Teach the move with shadow boxing first. I am a big fan of shadow boxing as students can practice the footwork and contact move with a punch instead of swinging a racket which I believe is more complex as the racket can make you fall off balance or distract you because you become obsessed with grips and swing lines. Plus, shadow boxing with split steps and ready steps included, can be done in tight spaces and with a big number of students. Get the Rocky music going….they love it!!!
3. Finish the swing with a shoulder wrap. A shoulder wrap is when the swing finishes around the shoulder. A lot of students finish at the hip (ball goes in the net) or finish around the neck (makes student loose the angles in their legs)
4. Teach it throwing a medicine ball. Because the transfer is such a powerful shot anything that strengthens the core muscles and emphasises leg drive is great!! A medicine is fantastic for both these reasons plus it also strengthens the shoulders. Make sure you do it left and right handed to fix muscle imbalances.