The Most Botched Shot in Doubles | 3 Steps to Turning An Opportunity Ball into a Winner
Got a doozy today… The number one most botched shot in tennis at least at the 3.0-4.0 level.
It’s that hybrid or “tweener” high volley/overhead type of shot.
I was watching some friends at the local park, and nobody really knows what to do with this shot… and a lot of them end up going right into the bottom of the net… followed quickly by a lot of words that I won’t repeat on this particular video.
And as a side note, I’ve read some comments that people “know all of this stuff already”… and I Just want to say 2 things… 1. Internalizing and understanding something comes from hearing and hearing and hearing… 2. Mastering something comes from doing, doing and doing… so if you’ve “heard it all before” but you’re still not getting the RESULTS that you want… chances are you need to go out and PRACTICE this stuff. None of the stuff works unless you ACTUALLY go out and practice it. But, it would be cool if we were in the MATRIX and you could just download the perfect serve into your brain… wouldn’t that be awesome? You can watch these videos until your eyes get red… if you don’t go work on it… it won’t work. BUT… if you watch the videos carefully, then go out and practice, they WILL work for you… and life will be great. OK?
Now let’s head on up to the court and I’ll show you three secrets to hitting the most botched shot in tennis. So you can take this opportunity to end the point, and celebrate like crazy. Let’s go.
So by definition… this most botched shot in tennis isn’t quite an overhead… it’s more like a lazy looper that isn’t hit particularly hard, fast or deep. In other words… it’s a shot we all feel like we should be able to put away. But that’s not what’s happening out there…
Usually what ends up happening is we’re playing doubles, and one of us is around the service line… maybe after an approach shot, or maybe just hanging out there… and in comes this lazy looper and we don’t really know what to do with it… so we do nothing with it, and we end up dumping the ball into the net.
Here are the three things you need to do if you want to turn this opportunity ball into a clean winner.
And the first two things kind of go hand in hand…
They are CLOSE… and AIM.
Let’s look at the first one. If you see that lazy looper, and you’re standing around the service line for example… maybe you’re playing doubles. The worst thing you can possibly do is just wait for the ball to come to you… because more than likely, you’re going to get a ball down around your knees or ankles… and then you’re forced to volley UP over the net… meanwhile the guy on the other side is LICKING HIS CHOPS because he knows he’s going to get the last laugh on you and your partner.
What you want to do instead is SEE that ball coming (by the way, I made a whole video on HOW to watch the ball, that really goes into depth into HOW you can almost psychic-ly predict when this shot is coming. Feel free to check out that video if you’d like.
Once ou see that lazy looper… you want to CLOSE… meaning you want to move forward towards the net and cut it off. Like a Tiger stalking it’s prey. The reason you want to do this, is a. it gives your opponent less time to react b. Gives you the ability to volley DOWN into the court and c. Opens up a lot more angles for you. All good things to do.
Now the second part is the aiming part. And I said these two go hand in hand because if you hit this ball in the WRONG spot in doubles, you could be in more trouble than if you just let the ball drop in the first place.
WHERE should you aim?… the short answer is it depends. It depends on where your opponent or opponents (for doubles) are on the court… what there strengths and weaknesses are… and a few other factors. But say you’re playing doubles and you get this short ball… a good rule of thumb is to volley at the net man’s feet for example. Or down the middle solves the riddle. IN singles you might volley into the open court, or you might volley behind your opponent, it really depends on the situation. But whatever you do MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A TARGET. Make sure it’s NOT Ready, Fire, Aim! We’ll cover this in more depth in a future video.
Finally the third thing you want to remember on this ball is to GET sideways and walk it down, especially in doubles… meaning stay sideways through the hit. What you don’t want to do is Face the net during the shot… otherwise you get a lot of balls into the net… and that’s no good. By walking it down… you center your body over the point of contact longer and increase your chances of a solid shot. Now there is a time and a place to hit a swing volley, or an overhead and you may even feel comfortable hitting those shots in this situation… but if you’re lost on what to do during this shot…this is a great place to start just remember, close the net, AIM, and walk it down.