Tennis – Racket Face Awareness

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 38,861
    Tennis professional Doug Kegerreis discusses racket face awareness.

    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.

    In this segment, we're going to learn one of the essentials of hitting forehands and backhands and that is the skill of learning where your racquet face is pointed which I call Racquet Face Awareness.

    Now, the key to Racquet Face Awareness is having a target. You should always have a target when you are hitting forehands and backhands. Rarely, you ever hit exactly where you are aiming but regardless you want to have a target and that is the most important feedback you can get to determine where your racquet face is pointing.

    Now, we talked about grips. To a certain extent, how you grip the racquet will determine where your racquet face is pointing. For example, I am now holding a forehand grip; I have my strings pointed pretty much straight ahead. Now, when I hit the ball and I have a target straight ahead, and let's say, the ball goes to the left of my target. Well, I know that at the point of impact, my racquet face was not pointing straight ahead but it was tilted a little bit to the left. And generally, if you do have the palm of your hand mostly behind the racquet, which I recommend, the palm of your hand and the racquet face is on the same plane.

    So, an excellent reference point to determine racquet face awareness for the forehand is to keep the palm of my hand going out towards my target; that should keep my strings pointed to my target. Again, if I have a target, be aware of where the ball goes in relationship to your target, then you'll learn where your racquet face is actually pointing. On the backhand, it is the knuckles that are your reference point, to help you learn where your racquet face is pointing. Again, have a target, be aware of where the ball goes in relationship to your target. That gives you feedback as to where your racquet face is actually pointing. Your knuckles are your reference point, you can send your knuckles out to your target, that should allow your racquet face to go out to your target also.

    So, for racquet face awareness, always have a target, be aware of where the ball goes in relationship to your target to adjust where your strings are pointing. Use the palm of your hand on the forehand, knuckles on your backhand as an additional reference point.

    Next, we are going to learn about a lifting racquet path and how essential that is to your forehand and backhand.