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View Full Version : When you get that easy sitter


julianoz
02-14-2009, 09:11 PM
Just a little bit past the service line, weak reply from your opponent thats almost a half lob, you are lining up your forehand and getting ready to crush the ball because it has "hit a very aggressive shot" written all over it..

Do you jump and hit the ball a higher contact point like the pros do when they go for it? Or do you take it early and hit it with your feet staying on the ground? Or let the ball bounce high and hit it when it comes back down to your strike zone area?

I always jump for whatever reason and rip it to one of the corners but giving myself some margin for error. Problem is I sometimes lift my head when i do this, because so much movement and torque is involved, sometimes resulting in an error. Pros do it while keeping their head fairly still! So should I just learn to keep my head still or should I not lift off the ground on these shots?

datsveryinterestin
02-14-2009, 09:34 PM
i do not know your play level, but
all of us hackers are guilty of the same thing...

is jumping REALLY helping you smash that ball past your opponent? or is it wasted movement that makes the brains job of trying to hit a moving target with a racquet in your hand that much harder??? are you doing it because you think you see pros doing it?
it is their JOB and if they struggle on that shot they have a bevy of coaches willing to feed them bucket after bucket of balls to practice the shot. most of the time, pros are just swinging so smoothly and quickly that the force of the swing carries their feet off the ground... they aren't actively thinking about jumping to hit the shot.

weekend warriors would be MUCH better serve thinking about what is the EASIEST and MOST EFFECTIVE way to hit this ball. maybe you don't have to hit a winner against your opponent, because if you hit a decent ball into the open court, odds are he is going to try a running Nadal forehand and miss badly!

if you time it right, the jumping/twisting forehand shot probably looks impressive... but if you have the ball in that position, you have so many choices that you BETTER make that shot.

what i am saying is that you could stay on the ground and smoothly stoke that ball with good placement and continue towards the net for the possible finishing volley and the confidence with which you do it would be much more intimidating than a jumping spazz shank!

p.s. - i am a jumping spazz shanker in recovery! i urge you to join the club! JumpingSpazzShankersAnonymous!

Geezer Guy
02-14-2009, 09:37 PM
If you keep your feet on the ground, it will really add consistency to your shots. Personally, if you've got an easy sitter, why try and make it harder by taking it early on the rise? Let it bounce up into your strike zone, then let it rip.

anchorage
02-15-2009, 01:09 AM
With those balls, I actually use a full western grip on the forehand (normally SW) and take the ball a little higher than normal. Remember, though, placement will get the job done as much as power.

I also see many people miss these types of balls due to bad footwork, made worse by then trying to hit too hard.

raiden031
02-15-2009, 04:29 AM
That is my bread and butter shot. I always rip those in mid-air just as you do. I'm not sure if I jump in order to get the ball lower into my strike zone or because I am just over excited to kill it. But I'd say its a pretty consistent shot for me.

Mansewerz
02-15-2009, 09:23 AM
Just a little bit past the service line, weak reply from your opponent thats almost a half lob, you are lining up your forehand and getting ready to crush the ball because it has "hit a very aggressive shot" written all over it..

Do you jump and hit the ball a higher contact point like the pros do when they go for it? Or do you take it early and hit it with your feet staying on the ground? Or let the ball bounce high and hit it when it comes back down to your strike zone area?

I always jump for whatever reason and rip it to one of the corners but giving myself some margin for error. Problem is I sometimes lift my head when i do this, because so much movement and torque is involved, sometimes resulting in an error. Pros do it while keeping their head fairly still! So should I just learn to keep my head still or should I not lift off the ground on these shots?

I do jump somtimes like Roddick, but it goes into the net. I have to hit through not down! :(

fuzz nation
02-15-2009, 09:41 AM
When that short sitter bounces up off the court and tops out with little pace, it's especially easy to donate an error if you go after it too much while it has almost no energy. A more routine ball with some pace can be more controllable because you don't need to add much energy to the ball so much as redirect it. This is pretty much what's happening in a good baseline rally.

What the pros as well as lots of better amateurs do is pounce on that ball and hit it on the rise while it still has some energy in it. That ball is easier to get some bite on and redirect with control for perhaps a put-away, but often for a set up shot that leaves an opponent very much on the defensive. Even though this ball presents an opportunity, it's important to recognize that you need a measure of control to take advantage of it.

I coach some high school kids and I like to specifically drill them on this shot so that they can learn to deal with this ball without getting too excited. If you have a hitting partner that can feed you some of these sitters on both your forehand and backhand wings, you can experiment with playing them aggressively as well as placing them as a set up shot. You can really groove that ball once you've hit a couple dozen in a row compared with a match setting where out of the blue, this sitter shows up and your alarms start ringing. Once you get that ball during a point, your practice will let you recognize it early and you'll already know how to handle it.

Rickson
02-15-2009, 09:46 AM
I definitely won't put topspin on that sucker because it needs to be crushed and not looped. A crushing, flat drive should do the trick.

Frank Silbermann
02-15-2009, 11:03 AM
When the ball is short, high and slow, you have time to wind up and the net need no longer be an obstacle. So you should really murder this ball, much as you would a short overhead smash.

The advise to hit it on the rise puzzles me. Why make difficult what should be a slam-dunk? To me, that's like trying to hit an overhead on-the-rise (after letting the lob bounce). (Well, maybe -- if it's a really high lob in a really strong wind, but not normally.) If you take it on the rise at modest height, not only is the timing more difficult but now you're re-introduced the net as an obstacle.

The advise to play it as a conservative approach shot is also puzzling. Instead of what should be an easy point your opponent now has the opportunity to probe your net-game for weaknesses. Is your forehand volley good today? Your backhand volley? Your overhead smash? No sun in your eyes?

Your opponent has given you a gift -- take it!

It should not be necessary to jump if you have a forehand grip that leans _at_all_ towards western. Yeah, a pro who jumps can add just that much more power to the ball by hitting it a bit closer to his ideal strike zone, but your opponents don't run that fast. Just raise your racket shoulder and lower your other shoulder so you get a near-vertical racket. If you're going down-the-line, the action that normally gives you topspin will now produce mostly side-spin, but that's OK -- you don't need topspin on a ball that's high and short. If you're going cross-court hit it flat.

This shot is one of the reasons I switched to the ambidextrous style. No matter how I hit my backhand, I simply wasn't able to punish balls that were clearly asking for it. With the one-hander I had no leverage on high balls, and with the two-hander I had no reach.

WildVolley
02-15-2009, 03:20 PM
I try to compose myself and keep my head still at contact. I hit through the ball with topspin and down into the court. I don't worry about hitting it as hard as I can unless I'm feeling it is right where I want it to be, because, much like a volley, my opponent has little time to react.

Sometimes it is really best to get there early and just wrong foot your opponent. If you hold it for a second, he'll normally start moving and then all you need to do is place it in play in the opposite direction.

Lower level players tend to blow this shot because they don't practice it. I make my high school players practice put-aways often.

BullDogTennis
02-15-2009, 07:18 PM
i put a crapton of spin on it and hit it into a corner DEEP. i USUALLy dont try to go for jumping hardcore shots. but if i really get that urge sometimes i will.

Rickson
02-15-2009, 07:49 PM
Why would you topspin a short, high ball?

julianoz
02-15-2009, 09:03 PM
Ball may not be "short"..could be half between service and baseline and its still a ball to attack. I agree flatten it out if you have the clearance. I guess topspin allows you to pull your opponent wide and still hit a safe shot..

[d]ragon
02-15-2009, 10:09 PM
The reason why pros seem to "jump" as they hit the ball is because of the loading of their legs which allows them to explode into the ball. Plus hitting it at a higher place allows them to hit down and flat without having to worry about the net. But this is really a secondary bonus as they don't intentionally jump and hit the ball.