I have found a way to REALLY improve your overhead.

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Golden Retriever, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  2. ubermeyer

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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    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
     
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  3. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    I used to hit flat on the overhead and it didn't work since flat was not my best serve.
     
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  4. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    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
     
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  5. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  6. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    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
     
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  7. ScoopsHaaganDazs

    ScoopsHaaganDazs Rookie

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    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).
     
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  8. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    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 :)
     
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  9. lawnchairtennis

    lawnchairtennis New User

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    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
     
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  10. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    I don't think you should necessarily hit your overhead exactly like your favorite serve. Imagine trying to hit twist overheads! :)
     
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  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
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  12. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  14. jserve

    jserve Rookie

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    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.
     
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  15. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    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. :)
     
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  16. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  17. darthpwner

    darthpwner Banned

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    This advice is kinda dumb. Imagine McEnroe doing his serve motion on an overhead.
     
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  18. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
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  19. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    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
     
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  20. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
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  21. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    The abbreviations?

    -SF
     
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  22. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
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  24. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    sorry,

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

    crystal_clear Professional

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    After I learn how to pronate to get flat serve, my overhead improves with more power now.
     
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  26. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
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  27. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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

    Mick Legend

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    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.
     
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  29. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    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.
     
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