Lob versus Passing Shot?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by thinkfacility, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. thinkfacility

    thinkfacility New User

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    Recently I've been having a bit of trouble. It's been windy lately, so lobs are getting hard to time well. However, I usually can't decide which one to use when the other guy gets to the net. Certainly the passing shot is much more effective, but the lob usually drains the person's stamina as they run backwards to get it (although few can return it if it goes over their head). It also demoralizes them to realize they tried so hard and met with little sucess.

    I suppose this question is more of a "safe shot for points" or "ugly shot" for physical and mental deterioration.
     
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  2. Davai

    Davai Semi-Pro

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    A lob is a formality, or at least in doubles it's. It basicly tells your opponent go ahead, I already lost the point.
     
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  3. thinkfacility

    thinkfacility New User

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    I think it depends really, if you can lob it directly to the guy standing at the baseline with some slice it'll be a good defensive shot. Naturally a lob that lands in the service box with no spin will lose you the point though.
     
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  4. chiru

    chiru Professional

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    it depends in singles, if he's too clase to the net then go for it. also if you're in a position to have any sorta play, lobbing up is a good solution. when you have a passing shot attempt, then it depends on how offensive your lob can be, if you can hit it hight with a ton of top spin and towards the backhand side of your opponent, then i say mix it up, sometimes lob, sometimes passing shot. if you hit a good lob follow it into net, cuz usually the guy, if he gets it, wont have too much of a play on it, and you can finish off the pt.
     
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  5. thinkfacility

    thinkfacility New User

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    Hmm...yeah, if you're following your lob in you usually have to be ready to backpedal again. I find people tend to return lobs with lobs if possible.

    It's just the whole psychological aspect you know? If you rip a passing shot down, sometimes they just freeze and move to the next point. With a good lob, if they manage to get their racquet on it but miss, I find a bit of cursing and possibly racquet throwing is in order.

    On the other hand, indoors I'd probably go with the passing shot every time. The thought of losing the point just because it hit the ceiling just makes me very annoyed.
     
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  6. dennis1188

    dennis1188 Semi-Pro

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    Extreme topspin (offensive) lob to the 'deep' diagonal corner (hewitt and agassi etc) against a weak volley. A very effective weapon. Great combination if u can hit both a offensive topspin lob and the passing shot/drive.
     
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  7. theartoftennis

    theartoftennis Rookie

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    Had a match earlier today and the wind was killing my lob. So I tried hitting more passing shots. This was much more effective. Remember when you attempt to hit one, Try to keep it a little low, whether it's extreme topspin or flat. The Angle out wide passing shot most likely goes for a winner, but even if your opponent is expecting the DTL, if you keep it low enough you may have a pretty nice putaway.
     
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  8. prince

    prince Semi-Pro

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    depends a lot on your opponent .
    if he is an excellent volleyer and you are a fair to poor passer - try to use the lob more -

    try to work on the topspin lob , and a defensive high lob
     
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  9. AngeloDS

    AngeloDS Hall of Fame

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    The best thing is just down the middle and keep it low in doubles. In singles lobs can be effective only if done right. If you can't lob well, then don't do it and go for regular shots.

    A lot of people wiff and mess up shots.

    I don't go for passing shots. If someone comes to the net I just add a lot more tospin or slice and it ends up as a passing shot. But I just try to make the volley as difficult as possible but making it drop or having weird spin on it. And a lot of people dump it into the net or frame it.
     
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  10. Mountainman

    Mountainman Rookie

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    I bet some of you watched Gonzalez in the Davis Cup. His passing shots were crazy. He did not use any down the line passing shot when his opponent was at the service box. He hitted the ball to the corner of the service box every time as though it was nothing.
     
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  11. ramseszerg

    ramseszerg Professional

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    huh? you've never seen a well-placed topspin lob winner in doubles?
     
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  12. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

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    Lob is a good shot .. it's also a passing shot if executed correctly and timely! But do not lob all the time. Mix the lob with your passing shots. If he respects your passing shots and also knows that you have the ability and will to lob, he will be very careful getting into an ideal volley position. Slight hesitation and/or indecision on his part will open the door for your passing shots (or lobs)!
     
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  13. RiosTheGenius

    RiosTheGenius Hall of Fame

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    mix it up, mix it up...... that's all I keep thinking out there.
     
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  14. Pomeranian

    Pomeranian Semi-Pro

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    I prefer to lob if I can. Lobs can be offensive if done correctly but doing it too much will make you too predictable. Dipping topspins make people hit the ball up. My passing shots are pretty poor unless the net player is predictable with their approach or they aren't positioned well. I don't hit with a lot of power so a passing shot isn't really a "safe shot" for me.

    I like making people run around the court rather than blowing them off the court. I also am better than the latter. I would use what use what is most effective at the moment. If the player isn't positioned well, I would try for a passing shot, if the player is too close to the net, I lob them, ect.

    Use what's most effective atm and win as many points as you can. If you win some consecutive points, that volleyer might stay at the baseline. Then you have him exactly where you want him. Losing consecutive points is more demoralizing than getting run around the court in my opinion.
     
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  15. Amirsan

    Amirsan New User

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    I really like lobs personally. If you do it enough, I doubt that they will even attempt to come back to the net again. However, if the return is short and if you can get good angles from it, I dont see whats better then a passing shot. But also in that case, after doing enough passing shots on those situations, dropping in a few lob shots to mix it up is a good idea.
     
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  16. I agree with Rios and Chiru. You just need to mix it up. AN OFFENSIVE LOB CAN BE A HUGE WEAPON AND GREATLY COMPLIMENTS THE PASSING SHOTS. As it forces the agressive volleyer into a less offensive net position. Without such they would crowd the net and only have to concentrate on the volley.

    Even if you have a weaker lob, just concentrate on going 6-8 feet over their backhand side. If they are able to get the racket on it, it most likely will be a weak reply. Either way they will have to scramble and work hard to make the shot and then get back into position. Add 90 degree weather and you have a pretty frustrated player after a while. We use the lob quite effectively in mixed doubles as it gives me an opportunity to cut off the reply.:D
     
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  17. donnyz89

    donnyz89 Hall of Fame

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    I think lob is highly underused and underrated... at a under4.0, overheads are not automatic winners yet. Your lobs doesnt even have to be perfect, a lot of people can not hit overheads with confidence, especially from the serviceline and back. MANY people make the unforced errors on overheads. Test it early then abuse it all match long.
     
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  18. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    The lob is a great defensive shot against strong volleyers who come a little too close to the net. The lob is not nearly as effective against good volleyers who can play farther back and can half volley well because the lob has to be very well placed against them. If you run into some net huggers, lob them until they start playing the net farther back in which case you switch to good dipping shots.
     
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  19. Yuki Kirihara

    Yuki Kirihara New User

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    This has been posted a million times.

    BOTH ARE GOOD. Passing volleyers is based on taking advantage of their position.

    If they're too close, lob. Too far right? Left? Take advantage of it accordingly.

    And with Rickson's example of being too far back around half volley position (service line), that means about any moderately good passing shot will pick them off. His suggested dipping shots are good, but make sure they're placed, angled dipping shots, as if they're further back, it's going to be a lot easier to handle balls at their feet.

    Why is this even being debated? Everything is important.
     
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  20. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Interesting. So your saying the only time a lob is used is to basically conceed the point?

    I happen to play a lot of doubles at fairly good levels and the lob is used frequently - it has to be used. Your basic goal in doubles is to capture/command the net position - this is where most points are won. To get a team "back" from this position, a lob is a very effective option - its not giving up by any means.
     
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  21. Kathy

    Kathy Rookie

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    The "lob" is but a formality, especialy in doubles? The lob is more useful and necessary in doubles than singles. It's the most under-rated shot in the game. The lob is a formality only for those who never lob unless they have to. The trick is to lob sometimes when you don't have to, when you get to the ball in good shape and can stroke it instead of just take a stabbing dink at it.

    If that's the only kind of lob you hit, of course you're going to have bad luck with it. But just because your emergency dink lobs usually get blasted doesn't mean your non-emergency lobs would. With the wind at your back lobbing well is hard, but into the wind you can usually find your range.

    Like Mahboob says, mix it up. Your opponent should never be able to count on you not to lob. That's what keeps them from crowding the net. If they can crowd the net with impunity, you're done for. In doubles especially when both opponents are at net, you must keep the fear of lob in lob in them. That doesn't mean lob all the time. It means force them to respect your option to lob.

    Kathy K
    www.operationdoubles.com
     
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  22. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    When I play 4.5s I hit passing shots because their overheads are better than my lobs. When I play 4.0s, lobs are often the more effective play as they may not have the speed or overhead but usually volley pretty well. The 4.5s backpedal quickly and rip overhead winners or at least run down decent lobs and stay in the point, so the passing shot for the quick outright winner is the way to go as you move up in my opinion. Really depends on your opponents' overhead and volley skills and how good your lob and passing shots are.

    ATP doubles specialist Leander Paes threw up some amazing topspin lobs when I saw him play at the US Open two years ago. It's definitely a nice shot to have at any level.
     
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  23. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

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    Great response by Kathy!
     
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  24. Hello guys,
    Yuki chill out dude. Someone seeking advice asked a legitimate question in regards to lobbing. The upper level players develope offensive lobs for a reason whereas most weaker players do no. It is a good thing for someone looking to improve to work on and learning when to use it.

    Also, it can be easy making passing shots on a poor net player thus no reason to lob. But an excellent serve/volleyer or good all courter will put you under a lot of pressure. Such a good player will also have great instincts at the net. So passing them cleanly is not always possible and usually not based upon their position at net. It can be a matter of threading the needle. Often you just have to concentrate on keeping the ball low and HOPE they have to stretch. I am a good 4.5 player and it is something I have as an option for good reason. Good luck:)
     
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  25. Freedom

    Freedom Professional

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    Lob it deep if you're under a lot of pressure.

    Passing shot if you have time to set it up. I particularly love my DTL backhand pass. I can hit it 9 out of 10 times.
     
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  26. Davai

    Davai Semi-Pro

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    Well there are different types of lobs. The big topspn lob is pretty much a lost point to a good team. The flatter lob is different and will push the team backward.
     
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  27. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Sure, we have offensive and defensive lobs. As you know. an offensive lob is much lower and basically is intended to push the net team back whereas the defensive lob is much higher and in addition to pushing a team back (secondary purpose really) it allows the player to get back into position.

    Topspin is generally good on a lob, regardless of the type. However, underspin can be extremely effective at times and often is easier for players to learn.

    In any event, lobs are a very effective means of getting the "other" team out of the net position and in my opinion are not used as much by intermediate players as they should. Lobs should be practiced on both sides and from different positions and angles on the court.

    I certainly agree that a "flatter" lob is more effective in pushing a team back and more likely to produce errors. With a defensive (lhigh) lob your just trying to crawl back into the point and not have the "next" shot kill you.
     
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