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RacquetWorld's Newsletter Racquetball Tip of the Month


Line Drive Warm-ups  


Line Drive Warm-ups   (article Player Level B-C)

I snuck out of work early the other day to hit the courts…(I know most of you have done it yourselves so no ridicule please).  I usually end up getting there after everyone has already warmed up…but not this time.  What I saw made me laugh…so let’s see what we can learn from that laughter today. 

I often talk about hitting line drives.  Simply stated this means the height you contact the ball above the floor is about the height you want the ball to hit the front wall.  This simple statement requires a lot of little pieces to work in unison to pull off a consistent stroke.  In this article we’re going to learn to start hitting line drives during warm-ups.  We’re also going to make sure you’re not cheating the line drive process like I watched so many do.

Here’s what transpired.  “Jim” walks on the court to his forehand side.  He starts hitting balls into the front wall from three feet behind the short line along his forehand side (right handed player).  He starts off slow…then proceeds to pop the ball.  He’s standing straight up and from waist high keeps hitting until he gets the “angle” right to hit a couple inches off the floor into the front wall.  Ten shots with this perfect “angle” and he is good to go on that side and repeats the process on the backhand side.  He finishes up with a couple ceiling balls and he’s ready to play.

I hear most of you screaming…”keep the ball away from that three foot zone behind the short line”…and you’d be correct.  Jim comes off the court and can’t believe how many he skipped after hitting so well during warm up.  My laughter occurred much earlier watching his warm up because there was no other way his day would turn out.  Hearing the complaint after the fact was just the icing.

Admitting you have this problem is the first step to fixing it. “Angle” is the problem.  Standing straight up while hitting is a major cause of this problem.  Allowing your muscle memory to only associate with a certain distance from the front wall and repeatedly skipping the ball is a result of the problem. 

It’s perfectly fine to start your warm up three feet behind the short line.  After 7-10 shots, move back 4 feet.   Contact the ball at the same height and hit for the same height.  Move back another 4 feet…then the last 4 feet.  Your goal is to have the same mechanics, the same contact height point and to hit the same height on the front wall.  It sounds simple, but you could spend a lifetime with this simple warm up drill.  Don’t forget the backhand side.

While running through your warm up have these couple thoughts in the back of your mind.  The only way to hit lower line drives is to get your mid section lower.  The only way to get your mid section lower is to flex and use your legs.  The mid section is important because this section represents the path of your racquet during your most consistent, non-pendulum swing.

Don’t worry…we’re about to add video to most of our articles…now that might be the most exciting bit of news in this whole article.

Catch you on the court!




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