The following edited article by Coach Dave from California reviews four crucial keys to consider when hitting the ball.
EARLY RACQUET PREPARATION (ERP)
As soon as you can determine whether you will be hitting a forehand or backhand – get your racquet up and get your elbow up.
First, you pivot and coil by turning your shoulders parallel to the sidewall. At the same time, raise your racquet up higher than your wrist. Raise your hitting arm and elbow parallel to and level with your shoulder. This will position your racquet and shoulders to properly strike the ball. Early racquet preparation is simple to do, but it takes many conscious repetitions before it becomes totally automatic.
During a rally, we often get tense and tight. To relax during competition we must train ourselves to breath. Without tension, we are fluid and are able to generate more racquet head speed and power. Plus, when we relax, we fatigue less rapidly. The racquet in our hand should be treated as if it were a bird. Hold it just tight enough so that the bird does not fly away! So relax during your racquetball match and your proficiency will greatly increase!
Balance is a result of good foot work. We need to shuffle-step with our feet as we set up and prepare for our shots. With balance, we have a stable base when we swing. Stability in our legs enables us to swing with a level stroke while keeping our head still.
A FULL FOLLOW THROUGH
Consciously strive to complete a full follow through of your swing. On forehands, as you rotate your shoulders, let the racquet wrap completely around your opposite shoulder upon completion of the swing. Give the racquet as much time to decelerate as possible. Your backhand swing follow through should be complete as well, finishing parallel to the floor, on the opposite side of your body from where you hit the ball. A complete follow through will not only provide more power, but will help you to avoid injury! A full follow through will release the energy of your swing into your upper body instead of your elbow or shoulder. So if you want full power and fewer injuries—then always follow through!