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View Full Version : I have found a way to REALLY improve your overhead.


Golden Retriever
10-10-2009, 10:21 AM
Pick your best serve and hit your overhead exactly like your best serve. For example if your best serve is the slice serve, hit slice for the overhead.

ubermeyer
10-10-2009, 10:35 AM
i thought this was intuitive cause overheads are like serves but closer to the net...

oh well good advice anyway, even if it is rather obvious

Golden Retriever
10-10-2009, 10:39 AM
I used to hit flat on the overhead and it didn't work since flat was not my best serve.

SFrazeur
10-10-2009, 10:47 AM
Pick your best serve and hit your overhead exactly like your best serve. For example if your best serve is the slice serve, hit slice for the overhead.


So, if my best serve is a kick serve that arches very high over the net and sits up like a marsh mellow then that is what I should model my overhead after?

-SF

Golden Retriever
10-10-2009, 10:55 AM
So, if my best serve is a kick serve that arches very high over the net and sits up like a marsh mellow then that is what I should model my overhead after?

-SF

With all due respect, your "best" serve is pretty pathetic. If I were you I would develope a kick serve version of overhead. A bit flatter but still with your favorite kick serve motion. Especially for lobs that are not sitters. For sitters, just do what you like with it.

SFrazeur
10-10-2009, 11:13 AM
With all due respect, your "best" serve is pretty pathetic. If I were you I would develope a kick serve version of overhead. A bit flatter but still with your favorite kick serve motion. Especially for lobs that are not sitters. For sitters, just do what you like with it.

I was using that as an example to show why that blanket advice is bad. No one should follow this advice. You mean well, however it's uneducated. The serve and the overhead are fundamentally different.
On the serve you are hitting upwards and out; on overheads you are hitting down and out as your proximity to the net allows for a sharp downward angle.
The slight exception to this being overheads from the back court.

Grip problems:
As well, if someone's default service is a kick with an eastern grip this should not be used for overheads. You do not want the spin that this grip helps ad.

Timing:
Many service motion utilize a long racquet drop across the toes prior to the racquet rising behind the sideways turned body. When serving a player has significant time to setup, this time is practically nonexistent on an over head which is why the motion on overheads should be far more abbreviated.

As well, many player still step with their dominate foot when serving. When hitting an overhead a player really has to step with their non-dominate foot. Stepping with the dominate foot often leads to dropping the head too early on overheads.

Yes, there are similarities between the serve and the overhead. However, due to the fundamental differences a player should not interchange their overhead for their serve.

-SF

ScoopsHaaganDazs
10-10-2009, 11:28 AM
Serves and overheads are completely different. Sure, trying to hit your overhead like your serve is a good start in developing a overhead for some people, but its really different. I think I have a pretty decent flat serve, but I can't hit an overhead well at all. Like the previous poster said, you need to hit down a lot more because you're closer to the net. I use a continental grip for my serve, but i found it easier to hit an overhead with my forehand grip, eastern. I wouldn't recommend using eastern for an overhead, but so far this has helped me. Timing is really important (obviously), but the timing is different than a serve(to me).

Mick
10-10-2009, 11:34 AM
i found a way to another way to improve my overhead: there are these two older guys who would lob as often as regular players hitting ground strokes. my doubles partner and i have been playing with them and they force me to hit a lot of overheads, so my overhead has gotten a lot better, to the point that these guys are not lobbing as much as they used to because if it's in my air space, the ball is gone :)

lawnchairtennis
10-10-2009, 11:41 AM
Like other people have said, an overhead is fundamentally different than a serve.
1) You have a constantly changing area to hit into, which is generally always greater than the area you have to serve into
2) You aren't controlling the height of the ball before you hit it
3) Your footwork needs to be tremendously better to hit a successful overhead than a serve
And I'm sure there are other things.
Though they may have some similarities, I would not consider hitting an overhead using the exact mechanics for a serve

Djokovicfan4life
10-10-2009, 11:43 AM
I don't think you should necessarily hit your overhead exactly like your favorite serve. Imagine trying to hit twist overheads! :)

Cindysphinx
10-10-2009, 12:08 PM
Still, it's useful advice for my 3.5 level. You want to keep your tossing arm up, keep your eye on the ball, keep a continental grip, transfer your weight . . . that's all true for serves and overheads.

One difference is that it is really important to keep your feet moving while waiting to hit an overhead, whereas you don't consciously try to keep your feet moving to hit a serve.

Djokovicfan4life
10-10-2009, 12:11 PM
Still, it's useful advice for my 3.5 level. You want to keep your tossing arm up, keep your eye on the ball, keep a continental grip, transfer your weight . . . that's all true for serves and overheads.

One difference is that it is really important to keep your feet moving while waiting to hit an overhead, whereas you don't consciously try to keep your feet moving to hit a serve.

Yeah, that's the problem with overheads. It's like a serve with a REALLY crappy ball toss.

Golden Retriever
10-10-2009, 12:24 PM
Well, my overhead had always been very inconsistent. By employing my best service motion which by definition is my most consistent service motion, I have vastly improved the consistency of my OH. Works for me at least. I think anyone is more consistent with their favorite stroke, otherwise it should not be his favorite stroke.

jserve
10-10-2009, 12:31 PM
My best serves are my kick serves. I don't know if you've ever tried to hit a kick overhead, but its usually not pretty.

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-10-2009, 12:40 PM
My most effective serve is my kicker...

My most aggressive the flat or hard topspin.

My most reliable on break points (on the ad court for first serves) is the slice down the T for an ace or a weak return or a service winner.

My most reliable on break points in general, is the kicker (obviously). Plus, with it's effectiveness I can pretty much use it to wipe away all break points with it if I don't go for aces and instead go for the aggressive kicker. Sadly, I like aces better... Haha. Too much of a Sampras wannabe. :)

Blake0
10-10-2009, 12:42 PM
Heres a couple ways id recommend to get better at hitting overheads..
1) make sure you're turned sideways and your tossing arm is up, and you're looking through the "window" your arm creates.
2) Keep a short abbrieviated motion on your backswing, because it's very easy to mistime overheads.
3) move your feet, so when you're hitting your overhead, your contact point is in front of you.

If you're still having trouble hitting overheads, let someone feed you overheads while you get ready and position yourself so you can catch the ball with your tossing arm. You should be catching the ball by moving your feet, and not letting your arm drop or having to move forward/sideways a lot.

After you're able to do that 5-10 times in a row, try hitting overheads, if there's still a problem, you might not be looking at the ball while you hit, or there might be a problem technically.

darthpwner
10-10-2009, 01:05 PM
This advice is kinda dumb. Imagine McEnroe doing his serve motion on an overhead.

5263
10-10-2009, 01:10 PM
The slight exception to this being overheads from the back court.

-SF

Maybe this is what he had in mind. I do this and use my slice, second serve if I'm well behind the svc line.
The other diff is i like to get the racket up and set rather than use a svc windup type swing.

SFrazeur
10-10-2009, 01:39 PM
Maybe this is what he had in mind. I do this and use my slice, second serve if I'm well behind the svc line.
The other diff is i like to get the racket up and set rather than use a svc windup type swing.

The difference in hitting that overhead close opposed to back is hitting more outward while hitting down on the backcourt overhead and probably a little more pronation, opposed to more hitting down and out when up close.

-SF

5263
10-10-2009, 01:43 PM
The difference in hitting that overhead close opposed to back is hitting more outward while hitting down on the backcourt overhead and probably a little more pronation, opposed to more hitting down and out when up close.

-SF
Yes, this is a little like the volley discussion, where there is quite a diff in how you volley from IVP opposed to the volley from 1st VP.
Same applies to the overhead. Depends alot on where you are hitting from.
In close, there are just sooo many ovr head options.

SFrazeur
10-10-2009, 01:49 PM
Yes, this is a little like the volley discussion, where there is quite a diff in how you volley from IVP opposed to the volley from 1st VP.
Same applies to the overhead. Depends alot on where you are hitting from.
In close, there are just sooo many ovr head options.

The abbreviations?

-SF

SystemicAnomaly
10-10-2009, 02:00 PM
The abbreviations?

-SF

1st VP = first volley position. Nor sure about IVP.

SystemicAnomaly
10-10-2009, 02:05 PM
Playing badminton for a few years did wonders for my overheads. More than half the shots in badminton are overhead shots -- this gives you tons of practice.

If I'm close to the net, I'm more apt to hir my o'heads a lot flatter than my serves. If mid court or deeper, I'll put more top on it. Slice will work ok if you are hitting the smash wide in that direction, else flat or mild-to-moderate topspin.

5263
10-10-2009, 02:18 PM
The abbreviations?

-SF

sorry,

IVP, is ideal volley position, position after 1st VP,
which as SA said,
is first volley position, usually around svc line.

crystal_clear
10-10-2009, 08:12 PM
After I learn how to pronate to get flat serve, my overhead improves with more power now.

SystemicAnomaly
10-10-2009, 11:15 PM
I don't think you should necessarily hit your overhead exactly like your favorite serve. Imagine trying to hit twist overheads! :)

I've hit 'round-the-head overheads in tennis = contacting the ball on the opposite side of your head. While this is a very shot in badminton, I've only seen a few elite tennis players execute the shot while smashing.

SystemicAnomaly
10-10-2009, 11:17 PM
Yeah, that's the problem with overheads. It's like a serve with a REALLY crappy ball toss.

Got a good chuckle when I read this. How true.

Mick
10-11-2009, 01:15 PM
i don't know about you guys but the point where i make contact with the ball on the overhead is much lower than the one when i serve.

WildVolley
10-11-2009, 01:30 PM
i don't know about you guys but the point where i make contact with the ball on the overhead is much lower than the one when i serve.

I tend to agree with this. If I attempt to take an overhead as if I were hitting a serve, I tend to hit the top of the frame.

Also, I really find it best to shorten the motion and not swing as hard on a high lob or else the timing is simply too difficult.