# Introducing the Optimum Technique

Before we start talking about the optimal technique, we need to explain how every stroke works. To have accuracy and control over the shots there are some important guidelines you need to understand.

Firstly, keep the ball on the strings as long as possible. In the follow through stage the strings are accepting the ball at the hitting phase (impact point). From there it’s all about directing the ball. As long as the ball travels longer on the strings it’s the safer shot, more controlled and more accurate.
Every shot has the same principle. Volleys are performed as the player accepts the ball at the strings and then with the strings facing the desired direction sends it there. To do so, he has to accept and keep the ball as long as it could be on the strings having the racquet and ball traveling together (this is called dwell time) towards the desired direction.

TIP – the biggest mistake a player can do is to focus only on the hitting point.
First of all, if you focus on the one moment in the chain of moments, you will forget about the motion that comes after which is far more important (follow through directing the ball). Secondly, if you focus on the hitting point which is an impact point (the ball hitting the racquet strings), the stress and tension in your arm and its muscles are much stronger and therefore you are not gonna be able to use proper wrist action while hitting and directing the ball.

WHAT SHOULD BE A FOCUS?
Focus should be on the follow through and DIRECTION of your ball. Instead of thinking of the moment of hitting the ball, think of direction where you want your ball to go. In that way, the racquet doesn’t slow down right after the contact but continue to the follow through phase.

Secondly, keep the wrist firm. By doing this you are using a strong shoulder as a pivot point around the whole arm. Straighter arm gives the follow through more linear path in the direction of the desired ball flight. Having to hit with the wrist flexible gives the stroke much shorter radius, and the swing gives you poor control and lots of errors.
When you get to the point of controlled follow through, that is when you will start to be in a control over your game and points.

To have a control over the follow through the beginning stage, take back has a very important influence. Having a short take back, next to your hips or behind the back will definitely not bring the desired control. You want your racquet to be a bit further from your body and less behind but more on the side (I will talk later more about the shoulder rotation in the take back phase, which is the only way to have a controlled follow through motion and shoulder as a pivot point).

What is the key to a good take back beside the shoulder turn? Elbows. Elbows should always be at the distance from the hips and trunk. Low ball or high ball elbows should be away, higher or lower depending on the ball.

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