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My Line Call | Tips for short players

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TALL athletes are no longer exclusive to sports that requires height.

It is not surprising that nowadays we see a lot of them in major events, like tennis. Their towering figure do not only give them the appearance of superiority.  They also put too much stress on short players. Imagine how tough for a 5’6” tall player to muster a good return against a 6’11” serve and volley giant. As distasteful as the tennis playing field maybe, there is still ray of hope for short players to shine in the game. Here are some tips. 

Power your legs.   As tennis is a game of movement forever, calibrate the power level of your legs by doing speed drills on the court for 30 minutes nonstop. Better if you will do your workout under the blistering heat of the sun. Your leg stamina will always play a big role to your efficient court coverage.

Bruise your toes as advised by Hall of Famer, Mr. Stan Smith. This posture will give you a quick jump on the ball. You can either have one or two feet both on your toes.  After a practice match, check them. If they have bruises, it means that you are moving well on the court.

Cut the angles.  Short players are vulnerable to angle returns. To alleviate this difficulty, avoid running laterally to return a serve. Instead, go diagonally for it. This will make up for your short coverage predicament and put yourself even with your opponent on the next shot.

Love the net game. Short players live and die on the baseline. The basic strategy used is to lull them to the net and then lob the ball over their heads. To turn the tables around, spend time tuning your net game and overhead. Love your net game and you will win more points shorter than you expect.

Mix your shots.  One option is topspin it. Since the ball will bounce high, the extra height will give you ample time to prepare for the next shot. Another selection is to slice your backhand so the ball will not bounce. Playing your opponent toe to toe is fun, but not all the time

The Center Theory. Use this theory to cut down angles that make  you crazy on the run. Return to the center of court after every shot. To see how it works, apply this during f your practice game and you will be surprised how fast you reach the ball.

Try longer stick. Short players will not only give them extra reach and power. But they can also hit the ball with power topspin. The length of racket allowed by ATP ranges from 27 to 29 inches.  Try longer than 27 inches and see what length suits you without sacrificing maneuverability.

Idolize Diego Sebastian Schwartzman.  For every opportunity, watch this young man’s game. At 5’7’, the 12th seed Argentinian reached the semi-final of the 2020 French Open defeating current U.S. Open champion and 3rd seed Dominic Thiem 6’1” from Austria in five sets. Schwartzman eventually lost to the number two seed and eventual champion Rafael Nadal.

 

 

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