One of the biggest crimes in tennis is to hit the ball into the net. Any tennis coach will tell you that, and you should concentrate on your coaching sessions to eliminate crass and basic mistakes like this.
If you miss clearing the net then this means you were not even close to hitting the ball deep into your opponent’s court, as this needs height. Fast low balls are the exception but you need to be at a very high level to play this shot.
Physics dictate that a ball has to travel from high to low in an arc to get good depth.
How Can This Be Achieved
One way of consistently hitting the ball in a high arch is to consciously work on your technique and getting the racket to move from low to high.
A great way of perfecting this technique of getting the right height over the net and to hit your shots with a nice arc is to work with air targets.
Using Air Targets
Basically an air target is a target located above the net that you try to hit into. They are adjustable in height and excellent for practicing accuracy. They are particularly good for improving your serve and down the line shots.
There are many different options with an air target, if you are hitting groundstrokes then your average air target should be a good height above the net, for serves reduce the height a little.
The Airzone System
Many players hit the ball too low, and do not clear the net at all. What can be helpful is to have a simple target the width of the net that you must clear.
The Airzone system is basically a second net elevated above the original by a few inches. This will help players who do not get the racket low enough to play the arc ball.
Imaginary Air Targets
Having a physical target is a great way to practice, these can be purchased or simply made by yourself.
If you do not want to buy one, you still have the option of using an imaginary one. Spend time before practice visualising the shots that you want to practice, then during your sessions pick an imaginary target above the net. Do not pick where you want the ball to land, just the space above the net that you want the ball to travel through. If you hit the right spot the ball will automatically land in the right place.
Using these imaginary air targets can be extremely effective and one of the advantages of doing this is that you can even bring this technique into match play.
Air targets can definitely aid your game and should be included in a balanced and programmed training program.