How to hot short balls

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by nikkhasnis, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. nikkhasnis

    nikkhasnis Rookie

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    How to hit short balls

    I am horrible at putting away short balls. So horrible that I just can't put them away. I either just dab them back deep without any pace and at a nice height so my opponent can pass me or I slice them back. Any tips/tricks?
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
    #1
  2. Aps1987

    Aps1987 New User

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    Have you tried...hitting them?
     
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  3. nikkhasnis

    nikkhasnis Rookie

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    Haha...actually i am very good at hotting them....i tried to edit the post, but can't edit the title...

    found a way to do it...
     
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  4. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    we seriously need some stickies -

    how to swing the human racket
    how to volley the human racket
    how to use the human racket to hit short balls

    etc.
     
    #4
  5. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    I'm assuming you're talking about short ball sitters, correct? In no man's land, they sit up by your shoulder or so just asking to be put away.

    You have to practice hitting them. It is a skill. I see some of the good juniors around here practice putting away short balls for 10-15 minutes per practice. Someone will put a sitter up in no man's land, they'll have to come in, line it up, and then put it away (full swing, both feet off the ground, crack of thunder type of shot).

    One of the keys is getting set-up correctly to the ball, and then waiting for the ball to get to the proper place before you pull the trigger. It's really easy to rush it and screw it up.
     
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  6. nikkhasnis

    nikkhasnis Rookie

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    Not shoulder height, more like knee height between the net and the service line.
     
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  7. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    you need to hit with a lot of topspin and not try to murder them. Relax and take a split second to tell your mind where the ball should go before swinging.
     
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  8. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Knee height between the net and the service line are not sitters in my opinion. My opinion is you have 3 options:

    1. use topspin to pull it up and down quickly ala Nadal. This works better if you catch it around the service line or farther away from the net as you can not hit it hard if you are closer to the net.
    2. as you mentioned, use a slice shot and try to place it deep in a corner as an approach shot
    3. hit a drop shot or low short slice in the tit-for-tat category. If your opponents hits a really short low ball, sometimes it is best to give him the same thing back. You can hit it up the line and continue forward behind your shot, or you can angle it short, low and crosscourt but then follow it cross court to prep for a possible reply.

    All 3 of these options are not easy and you have to be quick to get to it as early as posible. Also, these are feel shots and you have to have good feel and racket head control - it will take practice. You can practice them on a wall if you have a wall handy by hitting soft low balls against the wall that should result in a soft, low response back off the wall.
     
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  9. darthfedererr

    darthfedererr New User

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    short balls aren't usually outright winners unless you're a very good player than can hit with awesome accuracy and pace as well as disguise.

    treat them as an approach shot.
     
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  10. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

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    You're dealing more with placement on a shot like that. Direct your shot to your opponent's least favorite shot.
     
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  11. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Why don't you start a video website like the lock and load guy?
    You can call it "use da human racket"

     
    #11
  12. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    ^^^ This.

    My rule of thumb is below the net and more inside the baseline the more I slice. Not a floaty slice but a low, fast, deep slice that skids on impact.

    The higher above the net the harder I hit with top spin to put away.

    In either case take the shot at the top of the ball's arc if possible.

    Both take lots of practice so have someone feed them to you.

    There's a gray area based on pace, height, and distance to the net.
     
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  13. Gasolina

    Gasolina Professional

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    I have the same problem as the OP. I can blast winners from the baseline, and flat winners of short sitters, but am having trouble with these short no pace low balls in no man's land.

    You can't flatten them because they're so low, nor you can't slice them back because that's how they'd anticipate what you'd do and its an easy put away shot. I try to hit a topspin shot to land in the corners. The key word is TRY.

    As reference, the guy who does this at the club uses a badminton-ish grip so its like a dink shot. It doesn't have any pace so you can't blast it from the baseline. Most of the time I'll rush in for an approach shot which isn't a winner and then back up again to receive. Now were back to square one, but I'm a little tired :evil:
     
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  14. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    The best tip or trick is to practice the shot.The more you hit the shots,the more natural they will become.Always try to put it towards your opponents less favourite shot.
     
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  15. Orion3

    Orion3 Semi-Pro

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    The thing I try to remember is that hitting a full ground stoke from this position means I normally hit the ball long.

    I try to take a (very) short backswing and hit with lots of topspin to the corner farthest away from my opponent. Even if it's not for a straight winner it normally puts pressure on his next shot.
     
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  16. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    There's is a video of Agassi hitting a "buggy whip" short ball put away on youtube...he basically gets up to the ball and does a winshield wiper with a short backswing but a full follow through. Think about bending at the knees and using no leg drive, just basically wiping the ball over the net with forearm pronation. Of course, you have to get your butt up there first.

    If you can get up to the ball quickly, it can be top-spinned over the net, but it isn't easy. Once the ball drops below knee level your best bet is to dink it short cross court (low part of the net) or lob it deep if your opponent is breathing down your neck at the net.

    The best defense against this stuff is to not let it happen in the first place, to anticipate better and get up to the net much earlier.
     
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  17. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Well, stop TRYing!!! Such belief and concept can be detrimental to you.

    For me I either do it or I don't. :) If I do it, I do it 100% which entails a full understanding and a full commitment. So, a big key here is what don't you understand? For this shot, it just takes using a lot of topspin, clearing the net just enough so that you can hit with pace and keep the ball in at the same time. And like all other strokes, hit to where your opponent isn't (rare exception is to hit straight at him but rec players don't need this shot). To make your stroke easier, shorten it, muscle the racket if you have to, keep your eyes on the ball longer cuz you're not used to such slow speed and get into position early.

    Change your belief from hating this shot to loving and looking forward to it. It's one of the fruits of your baseline hardwork. I basically grind baseline to get to this low hanging fruit!
     
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  18. Gasolina

    Gasolina Professional

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    Hehe last time we played I believed 100% and two of my balls sailed to the back wall :twisted:

    But I get what you mean. I do think its 1/2 attitude, I really hate seeing that ball because I can't get power from my legs and really punish it. Mind you in doubles I don't have a problem with this shot, because most of the time I'm in position to hit it, not behind the baseline rushing to the ball.
     
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  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    My take....from an old timer.
    Short balls from inside the service line, or about there, knee high and lower are always taken as an approach shot, as said, and DON'T need to be hit hard or very fast. They need good placement and good depth.
    A player cannot outrun a sliced ball that lands deep. Placement and depth will get you your winners.
    OK, an ATP pro might outrun a sliced approach, but we seldom face those guys in earnest.
     
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  20. tonygao

    tonygao Rookie

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    nice post, learnt a lot about this difficult shot, knee high, between sevice line and the the net.....

    I will put up a practice session dedicated for this shot.
     
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  21. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    problem is I look very sucky on video... I need someone who can hit 100 jumping fhs against the wall.
     
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  22. MambaT

    MambaT Rookie

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    Choke up on your racquet a little bit and hit a normal topspin-style shot. The slightly lower racquet length will take some power off and help you get it in without taking too much pace off your swing and stiffening up your shot.

    Just a couple of inches will do it.
     
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  23. nikkhasnis

    nikkhasnis Rookie

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    What do you mean by "choke up"? Hold it a bit higher up the handle?
     
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  24. MambaT

    MambaT Rookie

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    ^^ Yes. Just a bit. Experiment for what you are comfortable with, but if you think about the difference in a 27.5 inch racquet vs 27 inches, or just hanging your pinky off the end, you can see that it does not take a lot to make a difference.
     
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  25. purge

    purge Hall of Fame

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    basically as has been said theres 3 possibile answers to that ball
    heavy topspin, long slice approach deep into the corner or short low ball of your own.
    which one you take depends on your personal playstyle and your setup. i used to hate these balls as well since my inner drive is to put them away with lots of topspin especially on the forehand side. but i often netted them since i just couldnt get enough spin on the ball. now our coach gave me structured strings to generate more spin and now i love that shot. on the forehand i can literally go straight through these balls with a full power upswing and they hit like cannonballs both crosscourt or longline, usually clean winners.
    downside of course is that flattening a shot out for a winner from the baseline is alot harder now.
     
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  26. Orion3

    Orion3 Semi-Pro

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    #26
  27. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    These shots are easier than the ones the op described. The ball still bounces high enough for a put away. All you have to care about is having enough ts to pull the ball down to the sides. If the junk ball has no pace and bounces under net height u will hv to get even lower to hit it back. U will risk either popping it up or driving it to net.

    Not an easy shot to counter if you need to move a few steps forward to get to it on time.
     
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  28. vitas77remembered

    vitas77remembered New User

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    If at all possible, the reason why its such a difficult shot is because you've let a sitter become a low shot. Which means better anticipation and footspeed so you can hit it earlier.

    I understand, I had this problem all the time growing up, guys would hit short floaters and with a 2HBH it was tough. But I learned to get aggressive, start creeping in from the baseline even during the rally and now you can get to the ball when its above the net.

    If you cannot get there early, its an approach shot like the above posters said, slice short cross court (net is lower) or get it deep.
     
    #28

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