How to get more power on your tennis strokes with the sweet spot

10 Jun 2020
#TECHNIQUE

Want to hit effortless yet powerful strokesโ“ The sweet spot might just be the missing puzzle piece ๐Ÿงฉ to turn your already technically-well-executed shot into a dangerous weapon ๐Ÿ’ฃ. I know it was for me!

And if you're wondering how it feels to hit the sweet spot, let me tell you: light as a feather, strong as thunder โšก๏ธ. Literally ๐Ÿคฉ!! The feeling is so special that it's impossible not to recognize it.

By the way, fun fact: I've been playing tennis for so many years, and yet I managed to experience the feeling of hitting the sweet spot last week for the first time in my life ๐Ÿ™ˆ. Opss, it was about time ๐Ÿ˜…๐ŸŒ. And guess what I was working on? On hitting with power ๐Ÿ’ฅ without compromising precision ๐ŸŽฏ, of course!

I'm Elena Margaria ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿป and just like you, I'm on a mission to become the best tennis player I can ๐Ÿฅ‡. Even without a fancy team, or too much talent. Just with a huge desire to make it. That's why Tennis Rematch exists: to share everything I learn along the way ๐Ÿค“, so you can get better faster, and together we can prove that we can achieve anything we set our mind to ๐Ÿ”ฅ.

So if you're trying to find out why the ball doesn't leave your racket as fast as you'd like, and you're pretty sure you have sound technique and good timing...

First, high five โœ‹๐Ÿป because I totally get you! And second, don't despair: in this post I'm gonna tell you everything I've recently learnt about the sweet spot (and the dead spot), why it's so important and how to train hitting it.

As usual, here's the Table of Contents ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป. This time though, I strongly suggest you don't skip anything and go in order as it all adds up!

What is the sweet spot?

There are actually several definitions of this term, each one based on a different physical phenomenon:

๐Ÿ“ the node ใ€œ: the point that generates the minimum vibration to the hand, located slightly higher than the center of the racket head;

๐Ÿ“ the center of percussion ๐Ÿฅ: the point that transmits the least amount of shock to the hand, normally located slightly closer to the handle than the node;

๐Ÿ“ the power point ๐Ÿ’ฅ: the point that produces the maximum ball speed, whose exact position depends on several factors.

As you can see, these locations are not coincident ๐Ÿ™…๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ. Which is why the sweet spot is more of a "sweet area" rather than a single spot: the area where the ball should be hit for optimum results.

Trust me, that's good news: it's hard enough to hit the sweet area ๐Ÿ˜…!

It's so much easier to hit the dead spot instead! (And don't tell me you don't know what I'm talking about... c'mon, everybody's hit the dead spot at least a handful of times in their life!)

๐Ÿ“ The dead spot โ˜ ๏ธ is that point on the tip of the racket, near the frame, that when hit it sounds like... dead. You know, right? When you hit the ball with a lot of power, and if you're lucky the ball barely flies over the net and bounces in the service area... oh how many times ๐Ÿ™ˆ!

But let's forget about the dead spot. We don't want to hit it ever again, so it might as well be dead for real! Instead, let's focus on the sweet spot itself and all its benefits.

The benefits of hitting the sweet spot

While hitting the sweet spot doesn't work miracles alone, it does make a big difference when your technique and timing are on point ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป.

In fact, if you think of your stroke like a cake ๐Ÿฐ, then:

๐Ÿฅฎ the bottom is great timing โฐ โ†’ without it you can forget about the cake (and the stroke)

๐Ÿฏ the jam is good technique โš™๏ธ โ†’ it's what gives flavor to the cake (and actually makes the stroke)

๐Ÿ’ the cherry on the cake is hitting the sweet spot ๐ŸŽฏ โ†’ it's not strictly necessary, but it does make your cake more delicious (and your stroke better)

In other words, hitting the sweet spot is a big plus! Which is why you should make it one of your goals and practice it regularly. You'd see that...

๐Ÿ”น you'd be able to generate more power with less effort ๐Ÿ’ฅ

๐Ÿ”น you'd have more control ๐ŸŽฏ

๐Ÿ”น you'd reduce excessive stress on your body, preventing injuries ๐Ÿค•

๐Ÿ”น you'd enjoy hitting your shots even more ๐Ÿคฉ

Simply put, consistently hitting the sweet spot makes you a better player, period. And who doesn't want to get better?! Don't look at me ๐Ÿ‘€. And I'm sure you do too! Why else would you be reading this blog then ๐Ÿ˜œ?!

This being said, don't get too excited because hitting the sweet spot is not an easy thing: it doesn't just happen because you are strong willed or particularly good at looking at the ball and aiming ๐Ÿ‘€, unfortunately. Of course those are needed too, but cannot do much if not complemented with the one and only practice ๐Ÿ’ฆ. What a surprise, eh?

How do you train hitting the sweet spot?

I might not be the right person to answer this Q (as I've just experienced the feeling recently), but one thing I can tell you: the way I got to discover where the sweet spot really is, is by using the tennis pointer.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป Tennis what? The tennis pointer is a big wooden spoon ๐Ÿฅ„, developed by a Czech coach in 2011 to make his students feel the sweet spot.

Well, trust me: it really works ๐Ÿ‘€. You have no idea how many shanks I had to hit before finding the sweet spot (countless!), but I can tell you it was worth it โœจ.

โ—๏ธ Little due warning here: I hope you're just as hard headed as me, or you might end up giving up pretty quickly.

In fact, I need to admit that it's quite frustrating when you can't put a single ball over the net ๐Ÿคฌ. But it's just as rewarding when you finally get it ๐Ÿฅณ.

Oh and don't be fooled: it's not like once you hit it a few times in a row you're done with it. Forget about it, that's not how it works with the sweet spot!

Instead, you need to keep practicing it day in and day out until it gets kind of easy. And only after that you can switch to once in a while ๐Ÿ“†, just to make sure you haven't forgotten where the sweet spot is and how to hit it.

You'll get there, I'm sure! And your strokes will turn into weapons ๐Ÿ’ฃ before you know it. Poor your opponents, they will have no way out!

Now I want to know about you!

๐Ÿ’ฌ Do you know how it feels to hit the sweet spot? And if so, do you consistently hit it or that's still a work in progressโ“

Let me know in the comments ๐Ÿ˜Š. And if you have any tips on how to improve on that, don't hesitate to share them!

Oh and don't forget to like this post if you found it useful! It doesn't cost you anything, but it would make my day ๐Ÿ’•.

Would you play tennis all day and night just to get better?

Then you're one of us! We're a community of passionate and motivated tennis players who work hard every day ๐Ÿ’ฆ to reach their goals, motivate each other ๐Ÿ”ฅ to keep going when things get tough and share their own experiences ๐Ÿ’ฌ so everybody can get better faster.

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