Tennis – Footwork and Balance

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 34,554
    Tennis professional Doug Kegerreis discusses footwork and balance while playing tennis.

    Doug Kegerreis

    Doug is the President of CIT. With 25 years of professional tennis teaching and management skills to his credit, Doug is the consummate tennis expert. In addition to his duties with CIT, he is a physical education specialist at Oakton Elementary School, and fitness director of the 4-Star Jr. Tennis Academy in Merrifield. "CIT has at its core a commitment to develop players who will continue to play tennis." Doug said. "With first-timers we emphasize fun. We've learned that when they have fun, they keep coming back and stay in the game." Doug has earned a Master of Science in Sports Management from the University of West Virginia. He is a current member of the USPTA and certified through its professional standards. He has had several articles printed in USPTA publications. The Mid-Atlantic Professional Tennis Association awarded Doug the honor of Greater Washington Professional of the Year in 1994, and just recently awarded him High School Coach of the Year in 2005. International Country Club, Fairfax Racquet Club, Mid-Town Tennis Club in Chicago, and Sea Pines Racquet Club in Hilton Head, South Carolina, all have had the pleasure of Doug's tennis expertise.

    Doug Kegerreis: Hi! I am Doug Kegerreis, President of Chantilly International Tennis, and today you are learning how to play tennis.

    We are not concentrating on the forehand and backhand, and you have now developed a pretty good forehand and backhand. You have learned the four essentials that is racket face awareness, lifting racket path, body rotation, and beginning by learning to control your swing speed.

    Now we are going to add to those four essentials skills. By this time, you are now going to start moving further back on the tennis court, closer to the baseline, and judging the ball will become more challenging.

    So in order to judge the ball, first you have to determine where do I have to move in order to hit the ball in my strike zone. My strike zone, on forehands and backhands, is off to the side of my body with my arm comfortably extended about waist level.

    So my next step is to move my feet in relationship to the ball so I can be still and balanced when I strike the ball. If the ball is coming to me with a very high neck clearance or a very high arc, I probably need to move back and allow the ball to drop to waist level.

    If the ball is coming at a very low arc, I might even have to move forward in order to hit the ball in my strike zone at waist level. That requires lots of foot work. So I need to take lots of little steps to get in the right position.

    And finally balance, balance is essential when hitting forehands and backhands. It's essential for all the shots when you play tennis. You need to, whenever you are time to hit, to plant your feet and be still. Why is balance to important, because if I am moving at all while I am hitting, it changes the angle of my racket face. And we learned earlier that racket face awareness is an essential part of hitting forehands and backhands. If I am off balance moving backward, you can see how it turns my racket face up toward the sky. If I am moving left of right it moves my racket face left and right.

    So again, to learning to judge the ball properly, watch the arc of the ball, be trying to strike the ball in your strike zone, waist level. Move your feet and be still and balanced while you are hitting.

    That is our last clip on our series for forehands and backhands. Next, we will move on to the skills involved with hitting volleys.