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soft hands

July 8, 2016

Watching Wimbledon, I keep noticing how commentators are praising players for having “soft hands”. Soft hands – that’s a strange expression, isn’t it? I think it means “skilful hands” – being good not just at whacking the ball as hard as you can, but also good at drop shots, disguised lobs, angled volleys and so on. You can see why it caught on – it carries a sense of knowledgeability and expertise. I don’t remember hearing it before this year, though; I wonder when it was coined and by whom?

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  1. Avi Chaudhuri permalink

    It is also used in cricket parlance . As in tennis, it suggests a delicacy of touch
    Don’t know the origin of the phrase though

  2. It has been around in cricket for a long time. Both for batting (to counter the ball rebounding up and being caught when playing defensively) and in catching (to stop the ball spelling out). Self-explanatory?

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