When playing a game like Tennis, speed and reaction becomes a very important factor. Reaction time has to be quick and for that movements have to be quick too. This also involves anticipation to a certain extent.
Professionals make it look so easy, where they just glide across the court from side to side so swiftly. But the truth is they undergo hours and days of hard work and speed drills.
In order to play each shot with precision, one must be behind the ball in time instead of chasing the ball always. The secret weapon behind this is reaction time. There are some key mistakes players make which results in being late specially on fastballs.
The mistakes are:
#1. Players tend to wait and see where the ball has bounced. A player’s desire to stop and watch the ball before they start their swing towards the ball is something that’s causing them precious time. When the ball is coming towards you specially in speed, you cannot afford to stop and watch the ball before you initiate your swing. Once you avoid this, you will automatically find yourself saving time.
#2. Tensing up when you see a fastball. When you see that the ball has been hit hard and is travelling with great speed towards you, you may tense up as you anticipate a hard collision and you may be waiting with your racket at the back for the ball to bounce as you may know you will have to go fast against it.
But it is, in fact, this that will prevent you from going quickly against the ball as this tension that has been created will create a ‘locked’ position in your body. It will require some force to get out of it. Hence you should be comfortable while preparing yourself even if the ball is approaching at a quick rate.
Instead of making these mistakes there are few things one can work on to make their reactions to the Tennis ball faster.
#1. Always be in a ready position. Your stance on the court is very important, specially your stance before your opponent has played his/her shot. A good player will always be on their feet and use the split-step in order to react and move quickly towards the ball. One should keep their weight on the front part of their feet to accelerate towards the ball as soon as possible.
#2. The ability to perceive the ball. Quick reactions are not just related to being quick on the legs. It is even your ability to perceive that will create an impact on the result of your action. The quicker you are able to read the shot that has been played by your opponent the more time you have to react and prepare.
#3. Having a laser-sharp focus. To react to the ball quickly you need to be focused and not let anything break your focus. It may not be easy, but with practice and patience, one can easily achieve this.