The Myth of Hitting
Around the Ball

By John Yandell

If you really hit the side of the ball it would go toward the sideline.

You hear it from teaching pros and television commentators. "Get around the ball." Or "Hit the outside of the ball."

How would that even be possible? If you literally hit the outside of the ball wouldn't you send it into the side fence?

Or is that phrase a metaphor for something else more subtle? Let's look and see. If we look closely at the angle of the racket face at contact, it opens up a way for learning to hit placements naturally and with more accuracy.

View From Above

In the last year we've added a section to our High Speed Stroke Archives filmed from almost directly above the court (Click Here.) It was at a challenger event at the San Francisco Tennis Club and includes some high level players such as Francis Tiafoe, Reilly Opelka and Vasek Pospisil. The footage gives a new perspective on the path of the racket. Filmed at 240 frames per second, it allowed us to see the ball on the strings and the orientation of the racket head in the critical milliseconds before, during, and after contact.

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John Yandell is widely acknowledged as one of the leading videographers and students of the modern game of professional tennis. His high speed filming for Advanced Tennis and Tennisplayer have provided new visual resources that have changed the way the game is studied and understood by both players and coaches. He has done personal video analysis for hundreds of high level competitive players, including Justine Henin-Hardenne, Taylor Dent and John McEnroe, among others.

In addition to his role as Editor of Tennisplayer he is the author of the critically acclaimed book Visual Tennis. The John Yandell Tennis School is located in San Francisco, California.

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