overhead near baseline - what's the trick?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Grapto, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. Grapto

    Grapto New User

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    So, I see the ball floating high with no pace, no wicked spin and it bounces and go up near the baseline. I have way too much time to prepare everything. My opponent is just waiting for the punishment. My eyes on the ball, left arm pointing the ball in the air, my arm with the racquet and my body are ready as if I am hitting an easy putaway overhead near the net, my stance is aligned with the direction the ball came to me... I hit an overhead near baseline only to find that I just donated a point to my opponent (either to the net or too long).
    What is the trick behind this shot? My success rate is 30-40% now but I think it should be near 100% hitting either a clean winner or inducing another easy floater near the net to finish the point. Any advice, any tips would be greatly appreciated!
     
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  2. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    I rarely see shots likes this, but i would treat it like a slice serve, i wouldnt try blast it for a winner
     
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  3. lancernrg

    lancernrg Banned

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    NO NO...do not attempt a overhead near the baseline. Your best bet here is to slice the ball and approach the net for an easy volley or lob the ball back and camp around the baseline.
     
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  4. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    what? approach the net behind a slice all the way from the baseline? by the time you get to the net you will get passed, or if you float it for more time, it will just sit up and you'll get passed
     
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  5. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I learned from watching pros that I would hit an overhead with this ball all the time, assuming I can fairly extend my hitting arm up and straight. If the arm is too cramped when raised, a high FH is in order.

    This shot came relatively easily for me as soon as I picked up the serve mechanic. The key is..you need to know to how to hit and contact the ball and send it directly in the direction you want. No guesswork. In addition, you need to know well in your mind the geometry of the court and where you stand. So, even when you keep your eyes on the ball you still "see" how the shot would go. From baseline hit it more straight and horizontal. I wouldn't slice or spin it in any way. Very hard for a shot to go long when it's active in a straight flight path (as opposed to curvy or archy trajectory and relying on gravity)

    It's my favorite shot. I even do it in doubles and triples, by-passing netmen. :)
     
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  6. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    I think there is a trick to this shot. Be sure to hit deep. Watch others play this shot, almost all their misses are into the net. Aim deep and rarely will it go over the baseline. It's really hard to keep it in the air baseline-to-baseline. Even overheads that go over the net, but land short aren't very aggressive. Since you want it deep, there's no reason it should be at all close to the net. Avoid the net, and you'll find that you can return almost all of these. They won't all be winners, but you're still putting it in play, and if it lands nice and deep, it will give your opponent problems even if it's not hit very hard.

    So hit deep. Don't hit down on it.
     
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  7. mrcalon

    mrcalon Rookie

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    ^^ this is what i do.

    Just work on your overheads and it's a super easy shot. If you have good control on overheads, you can even make it extra safe by turning it into a topspin overhead.
     
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  8. Solat

    Solat Professional

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    if you don't think you can kill it, smash it solidly into the backhand wing and look for a short ball to put away with a FH or knock off the floating return with a volley
     
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  9. SupremeV

    SupremeV New User

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    According to your post, you have timming issues: you hit either long or too dump it in the net. This inconsistency suggests that you need practice on your overheads. Once you get the overhead consistent, it is a fairly easy shot. Search around the web, because overheads are a very common problem.

    But back to the problem... honestly the only difference in the shot is that your much farther back. So the most simple and best advice is to Aim High.

    Remember when your at the back, you have to create a fairly large angle( Your feet is one end of the angle, your raquet is the other end.) Normally you have an acute angle because you're at the net and can hit down. At the baseline, however, you must widen this angle so you don't dump it at the net. The distance from your baseline to the other baseline is very long. Use this to your advantage by aiming high, the spin(assuming your not hitting too flatly, ) will allow it to go past the net and fairly deep.
     
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  10. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    The deeper I am on the court when attempting an overhead, the more topspin I'm likely to impart to the ball -- not heavy topspin, but enough to improve my margins. I'll still hit the ball aggressively from the baseline if possible.
     
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  11. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    There's no trick behind it... beside not overhitting the shot. When faced with this shot I mimic a slice serve. You have the entire court opposite the net and rarely will it come back if struck even half-decently.
     
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  12. jazzyfunkybluesy

    jazzyfunkybluesy Banned

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    Basically serve it with a little slice.
     
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  13. armsty

    armsty Hall of Fame

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    Hard and fast.

    Nah like a serve, bit of slice, etc.
     
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  14. Grapto

    Grapto New User

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    Thanks for all the replies. I think I was hitting it exactly same as I hit an overhead at the net (i.e. hitting it down with some snap).
    "Aim High" + "some slice and topspin" like serve, don't go for too much-- I'll add these things when I encounter this situation again (actually, it will happen tonight).
     
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  15. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Yep, that's the ticket as I see it. With some sidespin, that ball is easy to land and if you send it deliberately back to the other end, it will at least leave your opponent in a neutral setting. I don't look to really rip that high bouncing "overhead" ball from back at my baseline just because it's often too easy to spray it. If I treat it like a second serve with slice, I'm still in control of the shot and maybe the point in general.
     
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  16. nhat8121

    nhat8121 Semi-Pro

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    why would you play it safe? it's like you have the whole court to hit your serve...if you can't hit a winner, then you need more practice.
     
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  17. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    I would say hit it like a topspin serve towards the backhand side (or whichever is the weaker wing). Give yourself decent net clearance and let the topspin pull the ball into court. Don't try to aim too close to the lines.
     
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  18. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Sounds like were talking about a "bounce overhead" which has to be played a little different depending on the situation. For one thing the opposition has had time to probably set up or get in a fairly good position - might have even come to net if the ball was lobed over you and your running back. In this case, you might not have any chance to hit a "good/effective" overhead and lobbing back might be the answer to try and get back into the point.

    I like the slice overhead approach also and again depending on the situation, a topspin overhead DTL or crosscourt probably would be effective. One thing you can count on is that the center of the court is going to be covered in most instances unless you've really been pulled to the side by the shot. Your in all cases hitting from a pretty deep position so its going to be difficult to hurt them by pace - actually its going to make it easier because your reaction time will be less.
     
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  19. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    Slice serve it..i don't really recommend hitting it with a topspin overhead because you are likely to shank. Don't try to kill it as hard as you can, keep it slow enough so that it'll go in, and hard enough so you're still on the offense. Try placing on your opponents weaker wing if possible.
     
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  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I'm with the heavy slice serve crowd.
    Lots of deep landing balls don't bounce high enough for a topspin overhead.
    A flat shot from there is 6.0 material, so save it for practice when you get better.
    I use a much shorter prep for this one, giving me time to survey location of the opponent before hitting the ball. Shortprep, violent swinging sidespin works well for me. Depth control, height control, like a slice serve, but now can be aimed anywhere on the opponent's court.
     
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  21. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    You neglected to mention if you practice hitting this shot at least 100x/ week.

    If your not, I give you no chance at all of hitting a real overhead >50% of the time by just doing a thought experiment.
     
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  22. mntlblok

    mntlblok Professional

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    It seems that even the pros rarely practice overheads on balls that have bounced. Many will merely hit a forehand to restart the point.

    Because of that, I've actually put it in a bit of practice time on it and have concluded that the key for me is to make sure that I've positioned myself such that the ball is directly over my eyes when I swing at it. YMMV

    Like many others, I generally like a slice for this overhead. I play mostly doubles and the most likely situation for me to have to hit this type of overhead (I try very hard to never let a lob hit the ground) is when my partner in the right side of our court has been lobbed and I have to run it down. As pointed out earlier, one or both of the opponents may have taken positions at the net, so I like to aim my slice for near the opponents' backhand sideline, counting on the slice curve to bring the ball safely back away from the line, yet starting it out away from a potential net man in the area.

    I like to use lobs as approach shots in doubles and once found myself in what I felt like was a "can't lose" spot as I was sure that the opponent's coming "off-the-bounce" overhead from well behind the baseline was likely to be mine for knocking off as an easy volley. The rascal hit a great topspin lob as his overhead. :)

    Kevin
     
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  23. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Kevin, good post.
     
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  24. Bashi

    Bashi Rookie

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    i used to have the same problem - i wouldn't hit it long, usually just dump it in the bottom of the net. but now i just hit a very heavy slice overhead with only moderate pace - think of it as a slice serve but you have the whole court to aim for.
     
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  25. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Yes and getting sideways is probably the most important aspect if your dumping balls into the net. I see this so frequently even at fairly good levels - players try to hit the overhead and their shoulders are parallel to the net. Have to get sideways - makes it a lot easier.
     
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  26. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    Add me to the list of people who hit it like a slice serve. This is usually effective enough to set up a weaker reply if you place it well.
     
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  27. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    Hmm after playing a kid who lobbed all day long... I would say heavy slice overhead to the ad court. Because the righty slice makes it harder to hit and also keeps it in play.
     
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  28. mntlblok

    mntlblok Professional

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    It was my expert and proper use of the possessive, wasn't it? :mrgreen:

    We're also in 100% agreement in the importance of getting "sideways" for hitting overheads.

    Kevin
     
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  29. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Getting sideways for overheads is just as important as turning shoulders for groundies. You gotta.
     
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  30. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Absolutely.

    Actually, I like to have players practice the bounce overhead and its truely amazing to me how many have trouble with it. I like to bounce the ball around the service line for practice which is a fairly easy/routine shot. Some just can't get the hang of it even those with well developed overheads.
     
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  31. Zachol82

    Zachol82 Professional

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    Not sure if there's an actual trick to over-heading near the baseline, but as a general rule of thumb, only overhead near the baseline if the ball bounce as high as your serve-toss. Any lower and there's a good chance it will go into the net for me.

    Your form should also be similar to your service motion. Unless you don't stand sideways when you serve =|
     
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  32. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Focus point #1 - Get it over the net.
    Focus point #2 - Use heavy spin.
    Focus point #3 - Place it where you want.
    Focus point #4 - Crush it.

    #4 is really overkill if you master #2 and #3 because you just slide it so far out wide that they can't reach it anyways. That level of spin will have enough pace and penetration on it to be a clean winner.
     
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