Expert Q & A
[Q] My question involves the ball toss during the first and second serves. It seems to me that it is correct to toss the ball into the court for the seconds and second serves with the arm at a 45 angle to the base line and the net as you have mentioned in the instructional videos. I also notice that the players are making contact directly above their head or slightly to the left depending upon first or second serve. Is it true than that the toss travels back towards the players to enter the hitting zone? Should one jump into the court to make contact during the serve, or does one's forward momentum propel them into the court after contact. I guess I am a bit con fused on the path the toss should travel from release till the time of contact....Thanks for your input...I'm sure it wull solve alot of my problems on the serve...
Richard Brull
[A] richard- tennis tip- to answer your questions the toss will travel from release point right to left until as you noted it is above the base of the neck (1st serves), or just to the left of the head for 2nd serves. Yes one should also optimally thrust off the ground into the air and into the court BEFORE contact is made. of course if one is unable to thrust off the ground due to physical limitations then weight transfer should still be a primary focal point even if one does not come off the ground.
Heath Waters

[Q] hi i am a beginner. I am 29 and started playing tennis 1 1/2 month back. I really love this game and want to take my game at competitive level. Can you please tell me What sort of exercise should i do or should i take any specific diet. my height is 5ft9.5 inch. My weight is 70 kg. thanks
Amit Malhotra
[A] Amit- Tennis Tips- Amit it is great that you have found a new passion for this great sport. You can start your fitness by reviewing our articles in the sports performance section under "sports performance". You can also view the exercises in our sports performance video section that Velocity provides for us as well. We do not have any nutritional information published on the site yet however we hope to have this up in the future. In the meantime a high protein and midlevel carbohydrate diet is recommended. Just type into google "sports diet" and you should be able to find some good info :)
Heath Waters

[Q] I am a beginner, do I have to buy a racquet which has a big and heavy head. Is 107 inc. head size too much? Thanks in advance
Yesim Ari
[A] Tennis Tips- An oversize racquet head of 107 is a good beginning size frame. It is all a preference but oversized racquets will increase your sweet spot size and help with a bit more power.
Heath Waters

[Q] Hi! My son is 20 years old, and he keeps breaking strings on his Dunlop 300. It doesn't seem to matter what string he uses or who strings it. Every third or fourth time out, (10 hours-max) he breaks the strings. He's broken the strings on every racquet in our house. Three dunlops and four Yonex's. He says it usually happens on his forehand or return of serve. This is getting expensive, and it is driving me crazy. Any idea why this is happening or how to avoid it in future?
Kurt Kuehn
[A] Kurt- Tennis Tips- well this is pretty average if your son has a good game. My wife used to break 6 sets of strings a day til we switched string. I recommend using a polyster type string that lasts a bit longer and see what happens. This is quite normal for strings to break if one has a big game or uses alot of topspin. another option would be to buy a stringer and have your son string his own racquets. sounds like it would pay for itself in only a few months :)
Heath Waters

[Q] Heath I was noticing that nadal uses a straighter arm on his forearm than most of the other players. For example Roddick seems to bend his hitting arm more than Nadal. Is there some advantage to using the straighter arm? Thanks. Rich B.
Richard Brull
[A] Richard- Tennis Tips- Federer, Hennin-Hardenne, Safin, and Nadal among others also have a very extended arm at contact while executing a forehand of which I assume you are talking about. I think the benefit is the more efficient use of cetrifugal force and joint alignment. Since rotational forces are used during the millennium forehand and in particular centrifugal force, then there is greater force away from the axis of rotation, therefore a straight or extended arm would allow for a further point away from this axis of rotation. Also when the joints are aligned they are more stable and more easily able to apply force. Hence this may be the reason Federer, Nadal, and Hennin-Hardenne quite possibly have the heaviest forehands in the game of tennis on both the men and women's tours.
Heath Waters

[Q] Heath, A collegue of mine pointed out that my 11 year old student is not phsically mature enough to mimic a professional forehand stroke. He believes that her tendon on her forearm will be under too much stress. Is this an accurate comment? Thanks. Tom
Tom Clear
[A] Tennis Tips- Tom this is an inaccurate observation from your colleague. The millennium forehand (if taught correctly) actually does not harm the forearm region what so ever. The concept here is known as SAID. This means the forearm will make specific adaptations to the imposed demands of the millennium forehand or any other pro like technique. If you systematically train the forehand technique as one should then the body will adapt without undue stress on the forearm or any other region of the body. The entire body of an 11 year old is of course physically immature not specifically just the forearm. Does this mean that an immature 11 year old player should not bend their legs because the qaurdiceps are immature? Of course not. One should merely train wisely and not over do it and should let the child adapt to the imposed demands. An 11 year old is fully capable of mimicking all the pro techniques without incurring injury if a systematic approach is used. Two of my students Ashley Harkleroad and Alley Baker were not only using professional technique at age 11 years old but they were winning the 14's national events. Hingis at age 12 years old was ranked number 1 in ITF 18's world rankings winning the French Open Junior Grand Slam with a very slight build. Please also review the case study of the little 7 year old in our intruction article section whom uses the millennium forehand.

The millennium forehand promotes the use of the body and core more than the over the shoulder technique of yesteryear. There is stresses of course in tennis on every shot one executes even on the classical style of game. Does this mean that a 11 year old should play a completely different style game until the body matures? of course not. Just train wisely and not over do it and the body will adapt to the imposed demands of any newly trained technique.
Heath Waters

[Q] how do you return a powerful stroke to your opponent?
Aseem Sharan
[A] tennis tips- the key to power is simply racquet speed. the more racquet speed achieved the more power one will obtain. observe the millennium forehand technique on our site to see the proper technique to execute this shot.
heath waters

[Q] What is the best way to practice anticipation on which stroke your opponent is going to use ?
Edwin Vergabera
[A] tennis tips- during one's tennis training it is important to begin to start looking at the position of the ball in relation to the body. if the ball is on the inside of the hitting zone this will tip you off that the shot will most likely go cross court. if the ball is on the outside of the hitting zone in relation the body the shot will most likely be a down the line shot. a good way to practice is to volley with a partner and begin to train your eye to see the two differences. there are other ways as well but work on this one first as it will take some practice.
Heath Waters

[Q] Dear Heath, I am resubmiting this question as I had no response.It relates to forehand stroke.Many top pros like Lendl,Sampras and now Roddick use the "closed face swing" leading with the elbow.The elbow is pulled sideways and drawn back before initiating the forward swing.This forces the racquet to stay in front and creates a circular swing to enhance power and topspin.Should this action be integrated in to the modern forehand.Secondly most of the tennis pundits advocate the double bend position of keeping the elbow and wrist bent on the backswing,contact and the followthrough while executing the forehand stroke which contradicts your recommendation of keeping the arm straight. I will appreciate your feedback.Thanks. Bakthan.
Bakthan Savarirayan
[A] tennis tips- all the top forehand tennis players in the world predominantly lead with their elbows back into their final preparation phase in variant degrees as i point out in my PROnalysis tennis videos on the forehands and revelations forehand videos. this bent elbow reference point is apart of the millennium forehand technique in the ace system of which is what i personally consider to be the modern day forehand. i am not sure what others consider to be the modern forehand but i merely study the current top players in the world's technique on a daily basis and consider the millennium forehand to be the modern day technique at it's purest since it is what almost all the top 100 male players in the world are using on a daily basis.

lastly i am not sure what or why other tennis "pundits" would say to keep the wrist bent on the backswing other than a lack of proper study of the top players. they simply need to do their due diligence and join our site i suppose to be better educated. there is no question that the elbow is bent for sure on the backswing but all one has to do is view any of our tennis videos or instruction articles content showing that the wrist should not be in a bent or extended position as one achieves their final preparation position. there is not one top 10 ranked male player in the world who does this as frame by frame video clearly substantiates this in my PROnalysis videos. one loses the benefit of the stretch shortening cycle and stretch reflex when laying or cocking (extending) the wrist in the preparation phase such as most women unfortunately do. my suggestion is to review our tennis videos closely frame by frame as we point this out. you will feel validated in the findings as video does not lie.
Heath Waters

[Q] Thank you for you tennis tip Heath,will keep the win to loss ratio in mind.will keep you posted.i would just like to say its a wonderful feeling knowing one can ask you advice on tennis is like chatting to a good friend.thank you.
Penny Hall
[A] Penny,

Tennis tips are my life :) I am tickled to be able to help so many aspiring tennis players across the world. I suppose I am supposed to officially only be coaching 3-4 tour players by contract, but I consider all of our VTA subscribers as my unofficial students not under contract :) It is Lindsay's and my sincere pleasure to help enlighten the tennis world on a new way to learn tennis and we hope that the tennis training, tennis videos, and tennis lessons found on our site can inspire players to new levels of play abroad. Thanks for the kind words.
Heath Waters