I agree with Brett and all the other coaches who use this tried-and-true technique. I find it especially useful for brand-new players, right up there with learning the parts of the court and the four basic strokes (forehand, backhand, volley, serve). Bounce-Hit performs two important functions.
- It helps the player focus on the ball
- It helps the player understand the variations in rhythm that they can control as they progress; specifically when we progress to hitting early aka 'taking the ball on the rise', we can refer to our Bounce, Hit days. Bounce . . . . . Hit! becomes Bounce-Hit!
- It has legs. Lots of older players still say Bounce, Hit! in their heads when they play.
- Anecdotal evidence only, but when I give my students a secondary activity paired with hitting the ball, most students hit the ball much better. Not sure why, maybe because the left brain is now occupied with saying Bounce, Hit! and the right brain can take over the hitting process.
Still using the concept of speaking or reacting verbally to an action on the court:
- Count out loud the number of rallies. Full disclosure: I still do this in my head (usually) when I play. I have a little bit of an adult ADD problem, and this really helps me focus on what is going on during the point as opposed to what groceries I need to pick up at Piggly Wiggly, wondering if I remembered to put the clothes in the dryer before I left that morning, whether I should use I-20 or 378 due to traffic conditions on the way home, etc.
- I have some students studying Spanish and Chinese so sometimes we count in a different language. When possible, I like to customize my lessons to integrate my students' interests outside of tennis.