Tennis Instruction: How to Hit the Ball on the Rise

Tennis Instruction: How to Hit the Ball on the Rise

It can be tricky to hit the ball on the rise, but it’s totally worth the risks! Follow these simple steps and create an on-the-rise option you can count on!

For more easy-to-follow groundstroke tips, check out these videos:…………

Blair DiSesa Henley is a USPTA Certified (P1) tennis professional with over ten years of teaching experience. She is also a writer for Tennis Now.

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  1. She is great to explain the different shots, I didn't even know this shot existed as a choice shot. She is a one handed backhander too, which is great, maybe she can convince some of the younger generation to use the one handed backhand when learning tennis.

  2. Jimmy Connors started the "hit the ball on the rise" nonsense 30 years ago. Against a skilled opponent the ball has to be at or near your feet to execute. In other words it's virtually impossible to hit on the rise w/o lots of luck. Watch any pro match and you'll see contact is made at the Apex, 95% of the time. This makes sense since a ball at the Apex is at zero acceleration & zero gravity.

  3. Close to complete information… You did not highlight which balls would be the correct balls to try and take early as, the decision still has to respect the phases of play. You mention taking the ball early has to be shortly after the bounce, the definition of taking a ball on the rise is hitting anytime before the ball reaches its apex… Meaning the ball could be over your head when you hit it and it could still be considered on the rise if it had not yet reached its apex. You say taking the ball early can take time away from opponents but, that's assuming a player can time the ball well while taking it early, if they can't, the quality of their shot would be poor and likely give time to their opponent. Before mentioning moving and set up you mentioned follow through which has little to do with taking the ball early… In fact if a player were to take a good tempo ball as early as you suggest they would likely use a jab technique (speed before impact) more than a swing or hit technique (speed before during and after impact). You do mention moving which probably should have been the first thing to highlight as taking the ball on the rise is a reception skill so as a result, moving or receiving should be the key point to highlight. I loved at the end how you mentioned that taking the ball early is just an option, that's great feedback.

  4. I have a question. I see in your instructions you are advising to hit on the rise almost as if hitting it on half-volley/hitting it off the bounce .. with your body bending nicely and not waiting for the ball to come to your strike zone. But in your practice shots .. you are much behind the bounce of the ball and hitting it after it has risen to your strike zone. Why so?

  5. So I'm noticing that you open your shoulders before you finish the stroke on high balls but in the demonstration you are instructing to keep the shoulders locked. Does the amount of spin or height on the ball change the form you should use?

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