If you’re playing this weekend, then you can get out there and implement these 2 tips right away …
#1a) – Placement: If you’re playing doubles, unless the incoming lob to you is really short where you could easily hit your overhead into an opponent’s alley so that it angles off of the court for a winner, play all of your overheads right down the middle of the court.
Two good things happen for you when you play your overhead into the middle.
You force your two opponents to decide who’s going to handle your overhead and often there’s enough indecision by them that either they don’t get their shot back in play, OR, they play a short lob that you can knock off for a winner.
#1b) – In singles, unless I have a wide open court over on my opponent’s deuce side, as a righty, I almost always play my overhead over to their ad side of the court.
Why? If they lob back to me, I want their lob coming back into my natural set up position for an overhead.
If I play an overhead to their deuce side, and they lob back from that corner, their lob is starting from my backhand side and now the footwork I have to go through to get set up for another overhead is much more difficult.
You’ll need a little more time to ‘run around’ your backhand so that you can play a standard overhead.
Not always that easy …
#2) – Technique: Our instincts tell us to swing down on top of the ball so that we can play our overhead back down into the court.
In fact, just like a serve, you want to actually swing your racket shoulder up to address the ball and then allow the natural pronation (or relaxed wrist) to snap the racket head flat against the back of the ball.
The overhead way too often get’s ‘pulled back down’ into the court and you lose power and control.
So, the next time you’re out on the tennis court, practice aligning yourself to the path of that incoming lob so that it’s to the side of your racket arm and NOT literally over your head.
That’s a really lousy term for this shot – the overhead.
Let’s go old school on it and call it the Smash so that you never make the mistake of setting up to the lob with the incoming ball directly on top of you.
With the proper alignment, you’re now set up to initially swing your racket shoulder up into the downward path of the incoming lob.
OK, there you have it
Footwork for alignment spacing, upward swing path coming from your racket shoulder, and placement that best sets you up for the potential next lob.
I guess that’s more than just 1 secret, it’s in fact 3 golden nuggets that will turn your overhead into a stroke that will enhance your overall net game, but it will also increase your overall confidence as a competitor out there.
Get out there this weekend, focus on these tips, and then get back here at the end of the weekend and give me some feedback on how this worked
out for you.
Go get ‘em …