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View Full Version : ***How To Hit The Ball Between The Legs?***


superlobber
01-07-2009, 05:45 PM
During the game, while I'm approaching the net, I have a lot of my opponents lob the ball over my head. I want to run back and hit the ball between my leg, but I'm affraid that I might overswing and hit the wrong balls (if you know what I mean) or might trip over my own racquet.
Do you have any practice tip or advice on how to start?

Essential Tennis
01-07-2009, 05:51 PM
lol, very tactful

I need to do a video lesson on how to hit this shot, granted it's a terrible play for even a professional to attempt, so I can't ever vouch for it as a legitimate stroke to work on.

That being said, it sure is fun to make! haha

10isNE1?
01-07-2009, 06:18 PM
Here's a good lesson on the tweener:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQhKeozs3B0&NR=1

GeorgeLucas
01-07-2009, 06:21 PM
Welllllll...


It takes a certain prerequisite athleticism to make this kind of shot. As you run to the baseline, you have to catch the ball with the tip of the racquet as it gets VERY close to the ground.

You ought to catch it low for two reasons: 1. The safety of your children 2. You want to "golf" the shot upwards


Point 2 brings me to the next thing you must know about thru the legs shots: Hit it flat - have the ball flush on your strings. Use your wrist to flip the ball upwards (the primary direction) and your arm to push it outwards. Remember that this is a defensive shot. Don't try to make the highlight reel with it...

LeeD
01-07-2009, 06:22 PM
When I was young and fast, the whole CityCollege of SanFrancisco singles team wanted to learn it at the same time.
We knew you needed easternbackhand with a twist over towards westbackhand, so we had some basics.
We figured it'd only work with sliced lobs, not topspun.
So we practiced with each other hitting high, backspun lobs short to the service line. The hitter would NOT hit an overhead, but instead turned around facing the baseline and look over his shoulder.
Actually took less than 50 practices before we all could hit that shot...from the service line, about 90%.
You stop your hand swing when you're about out of room.
You flick the wrist like a whip, rather than pronate like a serve because pronation can hit the side of your hitting leg.
The shot comes out often topspun, so you aim a little higher than the net.
I never did it during a match.

oneguy21
01-07-2009, 07:40 PM
Lol, I only tried this shot only once in a match in a daring attempt to stay in the point to no avail. I don't know about you, but this shot never works for me. I even tried practicing this shot, but I paid the price if you know what I mean. :) Leif Shiras even recommends that this shot need not to be practiced for most amateur players.

joshburger
01-07-2009, 07:43 PM
im afraid to try this shot

SirBlend12
01-07-2009, 08:47 PM
im afraid to try this shot

I was the first time, too. Use your wrist, though, and you should be safe.

Think of split stepping, and hitting a volley the other way off the ground (almost).

It really freaks out opponents if you manage to pull it off.

SystemicAnomaly
01-07-2009, 10:17 PM
My grip of choice for the tweener is the continental or something close to it (either way = toward the EFh or toward the EBh grip). Altho' I've grazed the inside of my lower leg a couple of times in hundreds of attempts (including both tennis & badminton), I've never come close at all to hitting the wrong ball(s). Have never seen anyone else coming close to hitting themselves in the crotch either.

Fairly simple to practice the shot. Start in the mid-court or back-court area with your back to the net. Gently toss the ball up in front of you -- it doesn't need to be very high or very far away from you when you are first trying it. After the toss, let the ball bounce one and position yourself so that you are directly over the ball (the ball is between your feet), just prior to the 2nd bounce point. Contact the ball just before the ball bounces a second time.

Check the following for more links/hints:

tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2773212 (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2773212)

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SystemicAnomaly
01-08-2009, 03:20 AM
^ As you master the simple exercise I suggested above, give yourself more challenging ball feeds. As you develop the technique, start facing the net -- throw an easy lob over your own head and chase to down to execute the tweener.

goober
01-08-2009, 05:05 AM
Just wear a cup when you are practicing shot and you are good to go.

unprotennis
01-08-2009, 02:45 PM
When I was young and fast, the whole CityCollege of SanFrancisco singles team wanted to learn it at the same time.
We knew you needed easternbackhand with a twist over towards westbackhand, so we had some basics.
We figured it'd only work with sliced lobs, not topspun.
So we practiced with each other hitting high, backspun lobs short to the service line. The hitter would NOT hit an overhead, but instead turned around facing the baseline and look over his shoulder.
Actually took less than 50 practices before we all could hit that shot...from the service line, about 90%.
You stop your hand swing when you're about out of room.
You flick the wrist like a whip, rather than pronate like a serve because pronation can hit the side of your hitting leg.
The shot comes out often topspun, so you aim a little higher than the net.
I never did it during a match.

how does the ball have topspin when hitting a tweener. a flat dink is more like it.

LeeD
01-08-2009, 03:00 PM
Funny ding, dat....
I would, on the surface, before I started trying that basically show off shot, tend to agree it must be struck flat......but.
After seeing 4 guys hitting that shot over and over again, and seeing how my shot went over the net, observation not theory, insists the ball is hit with a little topspin!!!
I won't pretend to know why. Now we all used about an eastern backhand grip....we all waited till the ball was barely 7" off the ground, and everytime we actually tried to add some pace, the ball was topspun going over the net. NO, not topspin like your forehand, but still forwards spinning!
Before you poo poo this, try hitting a few between your legs successfully, then you can argue than I know nothing with a background of experience.

LeeD
01-08-2009, 03:02 PM
Oh, and DINK....
Yes, I dinked it back over the net.
DexterLee and StanleyWoo could hit it almost as fast as a sliced backhand groundstroke, but with opposite spin.
Maybe I'm a wimp, and they're gorillas, but you have to accept life as it is.

S H O W S T O P P E R !
01-08-2009, 03:18 PM
Use the wrist and make sure to keep your eyes on the balls I MEAN ball. :D

RoddickAce
01-08-2009, 03:21 PM
Run fast, try to overrun it a bit, switch to an eastern backhand grip, then put your legs as wide as possible, and hit.

phoenicks
01-08-2009, 06:03 PM
and before you practice, make sure you wear some ball protection to insulate your future son from any mishit. :)

BullDogTennis
01-08-2009, 06:14 PM
if you have time to set up for that shot you have time to set up for a lob. and your gonna hurt yourself, its not worth it in my opinion, i've tried to hit it before, im just scared to hit through it in fear of hitting myself in the balls.

Tennisguy777
01-08-2009, 07:28 PM
Don't do it man you can really break your balls!

RestockingTues
01-08-2009, 07:32 PM
If you hit the right ball you'll be fine...

StumpyDaMooseGod
01-09-2009, 04:20 AM
http://www.videojug.com/film/tennis-the-between-the-legs-shot
http://www.tennis.com/yourgame/instructionarticles/netgame/netgame.aspx?id=480

halalula1234
01-09-2009, 04:26 AM
just hit it with ur pants on

SystemicAnomaly
01-09-2009, 05:49 AM
Run fast, try to overrun it a bit, switch to an eastern backhand grip, then put your legs as wide as possible, and hit.

No, you do not overrun the ball to hit the tweener. In fact, you sometimes have to meter your steps so that you do not run past the ball. Instead, you catch up to the ball just before it bounces a 2nd time.

Note, however, that you can run past the contact point. But since the ball has already left your racket when you have reached the contact point, you never actually run past the ball.

Tennisman912
01-11-2009, 02:19 PM
The tweener is not as hard as most people realize. Most people are just afraid of hurting themselves; just the same as many struggle to improve their skiing because they are tense and afraid they will get hurt. Anyone with decent athletic ability should be able to teach themselves to hit it with some practice. It is a useful shot to know as sometimes it is the only way you can get the ball back (ie. a good topspin lob for example). I disagree with what the guy said in the first you tube video about hitting it in front of you (facing the back wall.) He did it pretty well in demonstration though. The key is to have it behind you slightly but I will get to that. It looks risky but in reality if you hit it right you have no real chance of hitting yourself where it counts. But it is a timing shot. It is easier if you don’t have to slow down coming into the ball because if you slow down going back, your timing must be better. Here we go.

I recommend 3 stages to teach yourself this shot. Step 1. Using the continental grip, start facing the back wall around the service line. Drop a ball, take a step toward the back fence and hit it between your legs nice and easy. Don’t try to hit it hard yet. You are just teaching yourself the contact point and the fact you aren’t going to do bodily damage. Do a bucket of balls like this. Experiment with your contact point and what happens when you try to hit it too far in front of you (That is how you can hit yourself). The correct contact point (IMHO) is with you in an athletic bent knee stance, about right under your ********* or an inch or two behind a centerline stake drawn down your spine. You want to hit it maybe 4-6 inches above the ground. Do as many buckets of balls as needed until you realize it isn’t too hard on a static shot.

Step 2. Start a few feet from the net facing the net. Gently toss the ball over your head, turn around and run back to the ball and try to put yourself in the same hitting position as step one. Don’t make yourself move back to far in the beginning. As you get better and more confident, start throwing it farther and farther from you. You will discover in this step how important your timing is. You have to get to the ball as quickly as possible but you can’t over run it or it will hit you in the chest. As it is dropping from the first bounce, it will fall between your legs close to your privates. The slower the lob is moving backwards towards the back fence, the closer to you it will fall and the better your timing has to be. Just keep practicing this and you will realize it only takes a quick snap of the wrist between you legs to hit it almost as hard as a normal ground stroke although it will be pretty flat. You should get this in an hour or two of practice or as long as it takes you.

Step 3. Get a partner to hit a lob over your head with varying speed and spin and just get comfortable with it. After some practice, you should be able to hit it in at least 80% of the time. The hardest one to hit is a backspin lob over your head, especially in the beginning when you don’t recognize the spin on the ball as fast as you will eventually. Why? Because the backspin will making it kick back toward the net, into you running back, so you can overrun it if you are not careful and your timing must be impeccable. A topspin lob over your head is easiest because it will kick away from you making your approach to the ball less important.

Now get out there and practice. In time, you will think it is a fun and very executable shot. It is a crowd pleaser. I probably average one, sometimes two a week. In time it will be nothing special to you and a shot you expect to make.

Good luck

TM

SystemicAnomaly
01-12-2009, 12:48 PM
http://www.videojug.com/film/tennis-the-between-the-legs-shot
http://www.tennis.com/yourgame/instructionarticles/netgame/netgame.aspx?id=480 (http://www.tennis.com/yourgame/instructionarticles/netgame/netgame.aspx?id=480)

http://www.tennis.com/uploadedImages/Your_Game/Instruction_Articles/Net_Game/2006_04_18_between_the_legs.jpg

That follow-thru (pix from Tennis.com) looks a bit extreme=dangerous. This guy must be trying to return the lob with another lob. Or maybe this is an attempt at a do-it-yourself vasectomy.

The 'tweener article that Tennis had in their magazine was a bit better...

tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2773212 (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2773212&highlight=Tennis%20magazine)

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