View Full Version : How to anticipate? And getting overheads....
01-29-2009, 08:10 PM
How do I anticipate the direction of shots, and how the heck do I get those smashes when I'm at the net? I'm expected to try to get the smashes in doubles, but I got no idea how...... I just got really good at groundstrokes and serves, decent at volleys, and I just moved up a level. But now these experienced players are forcing me to learn tactics.
True anticipation comes with experience more than anything else. Try to learn to pay attention to what your opponent is doing and you will pick up on tendencies that can help you make good guesses.
Before you get to that point though, learn to position yourself on the court properly. It's normally best to try and split the angle of your opponents options and then cheat from there to your best side. Some people like to move over toward the backhand side in order to force the opponent to hit to their forehand or try very hard to get it to the backhand side. You can also use forcing shots to try and "encourage" a cross court reply from your opponent. There are a lot of techniques you can learn, but learning awareness and paying attention to the results of you shots goes a long way.
As far as getting to overheads goes, move early and quickly. Get into position faster than you think you need to. A lot of people don't move quick enough because it can be hard to judge how far a ball is going to travel when it's up in the air. It's better to get back early and have to move forward than to be reaching behind.
01-29-2009, 08:28 PM
well, first anticipation. IMHO, i think the anticipation should be renamed recognizing patterns. it is what it sounds like. when you play an opponent, try and recognize what they do regularly with certain strokes. eg. my friend likes to approach down the line with a backhand slice, so if i was to take advantage of that, id chip short to his backhand and at the last second move up and across towards my forehand side(im a righty) side. make sense? if your oponent is good at mixing up, try and think what you would do with that particular shot and move in that direction. hope it at least somewhat helpful
edit: i agree totally with what Kevo says too. court postioning is really important too
01-29-2009, 08:29 PM
You know how Federer can read Roddick's serve? He can. I can't.
What the better players can do is that they can take in all of the information of a player and make an educated guess or sometime they can spot a tell. We less skilled players can't.
However, as we play we pick up pattern, body posture, lateness of preparation, angle of racket face, etc... and over time, we will be able to make educated guess/hunches. If you pressure somebody, they have less options so that improves your odds of what they will do. If someone is kicking your behind, they basically are in control, in position, and can much more easily hide their intent. Ever notice how when you are playing someone clearly better than you, you can't read them at all. It isn't just that they have better strokes, but your shots are so weak that all optoins are open to them. I know that I feel like I'm dumb when I play against a clearly superior player.
These are skills that will build up over time. You may want to practice it by watching other player play can see if you can predict ahead of time what they will do with the ball. You can sit and watch and practice. It is pretty tough but you have lots of practice and of course the feedback, is right there.
Don't know if this will be useful to you at your level but I learned this trick from a really good serve and volleyer. When you practice the overhead, always take two steps back as slide towards the left side (for a rightly). The assumption is that the lob will be directed toward the righty's backhand so the move is to slide over to make if an overhead instead of backhand overhead/volley. Most people take steps directly back but he always practice a left back diagonal. If it goes over to the right, it is much easier to go forward/right towards the overhead. Just a suggestion.
When you warm up, you check out your opponents crosscourt forehand. If it's consistent, short, low, and angled, it's his big weapon, so watch for it.
If he goes down the line mostly, then that's the shot you gotta cover.
To get back for overheads, as soon as you see the ball go up, you gotta decide forehand or backhand, and turn SIDEWAYS before you move back. Once you're sideways, you can get back much quicker than backpeddlling. Do not backpedal.
Forehand overheads, you crush anywhere you want.
Backhand overheads, you concentrate on only TWO..... short angle or deep to the baseline to the backhand or weaker side of the opponent. Now "weaker" is subject to interpretation. My idea of "weaker" in regards to backhand overheads is the INability of the opponent to hit a winner off a slower moving, but deep ball.
01-30-2009, 07:39 PM
Like someone said above, a lot of times it's an educated guess based on the player's tendency, his position on the court, his position in relation to the ball and so on.
One example is, a player is up at the net, and you hit a lob over to his backhand. The player is back pedalling and towards his backhand side. It's much easier for him to go inside out with his overhead than inside in.
I tend to hit a lot of my slice backhand crosscourt, and I can sometimes see my opponent cheating over towards his backhand when I am about to hit a backhand slice.
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