Doug KegerreisDoug 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 we are learning how to play tennis.
We are currently looking at the four essentials necessary to hit forehands and backhands. In this tip, the skill is developing a lifting racket path. Now you may play on lots of different tennis courts. It might be a hard court, it might be a clay court, they might have cracks in them, they may not mud, but one thing that you certainly will always have will be a net between you and your opponent.
And you must calculate your shot and your stroke production with the net in mind. And what that means is that you need to have an aim point or a target over the net and you need to lift the ball over the net, plus you have to have a lifting racket path.
Now you should calculate an actual spot above the net, somewhere between four to six feet above the net in most cases. It's sort of like when you are bowling, when you aim for the arrows in order to get ball down to the pins. In tennis you want to aim for the spot above the net to get the ball to the spot on the court where you want to it to go.
The lifting racket path is primarily determined by your beginning point and that is where is the racket on your backswing, and it should drop pretty low, below the level of the ball, and your finish should be significantly higher than where you started.
You could have all kinds of different lifting racket paths. You could have a slight lifting racket path, you could have a more severe lifting racket path, and those are more advanced skills determining which one. But nonetheless you should have a lifting racket path with a low backswing, down below the level of the ball, and finishing significantly higher than where you started, getting the ball to travel approximately four to six feet above the net, you always want to eliminate net errors.
If you are going to miss in tennis hit it beyond the baseline, that's a much easier mistake to correct than hitting it into the net.
Low back swing, high finish, four to six feet above the net is your aim point and that is your lifting racket path. Next, we will move on to body rotation and the role it plays in forehands and backhands.