Rallying shot net clearance

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by GoudX, Jul 10, 2013.

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On a standard neutral forehand, how much net clearance do you aim for?

  1. 0-1ft

    2 vote(s)
    2.9%
  2. 1-2ft

    13 vote(s)
    18.8%
  3. 2-3ft

    24 vote(s)
    34.8%
  4. 3-4ft

    20 vote(s)
    29.0%
  5. 4-5ft

    6 vote(s)
    8.7%
  6. 5-6ft

    2 vote(s)
    2.9%
  7. 6ft+

    2 vote(s)
    2.9%
  1. GoudX

    GoudX Professional

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    Out of curiosity, how much net clearance does everyone here aim for on a neutral rallying forehand?

    The kind of shot where you are just aiming to continue the rally, not a net skimming crosscourt put away or a lob.

    With all the different playstyles out there I am curious what the average is.
     
    #1
  2. DirtBaller4

    DirtBaller4 Rookie

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    What I aim for and what I achieve are too very different things.
     
    #2
  3. GoudX

    GoudX Professional

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    Out of curiosity, how much net clearance does everyone here aim for on a neutral rallying forehand?

    The kind of shot where you are just aiming to continue the rally, not a net skimming crosscourt put away or a lob.

    With all the different playstyles out there I am curious what the average is.

    (could a moderator combine this thread with the other, I accidently
    double posted somehow)
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
    #3
  4. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    So true....
    I aim for about 2-3 feet but after the hit it can get anywhere from -3ft to 5ft! :)
     
    #4
  5. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I'd say about 3' plus or minus a foot on avg, depending on my intentions.
    About 1.5' for and mid ct attack, but 3-4' for a normal rally.
    5-7 ft if looking to put a high bouncer to the Bh side.
     
    #5
  6. VeeSe

    VeeSe Rookie

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    I put 4-5 feet but it's definitely less on my backhand where I hit flatter. There I'd say probably 2-3 feet.
     
    #6
  7. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    I voted 2 to 3 feet. It seems to provide enough safety. Then, if the opportunity presents itself, I hit harder with either slight top or undercut (ie., sort of flat), lower the net clearance, and hope for the best. :) But that's when I'm playing fairly well, which I usually am not. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
    #7
  8. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    I'm in the exact same boat. I used to hit higher over the net but have recently learned to hit deeper with more spin to keep the shot fast and low. Previously my FH sat up too much. Biggest help: watching ITF juniors events and US Open Qualifiers. Some of the best tennis lessons I've had just observing their swing path and racquet head angle.
     
    #8
  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    2-3' on topspin rally balls, a bit lower for slice backhand.
    If I'm hitting sucessfully corner to corner, I'll lower it by a foot and go flatter/faster.
     
    #9
  10. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    I'd swear some of my opponents are aiming twenty feet over that damn net ...
     
    #10
  11. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    I aim for about 2-3 feet for a standard ball. If I want to get the ball higher in the strike zone of my opponent, I go for 4 or 5 feet and add some more spin. When I go for winners from the back court, I still get a good clearance, like a whole foot. The only times you'll see me hit lower than a foot is on an inside-out forehand and it's because there's no shot I can hit flatter and harder than this one.

    I love spinning the ball, but it's tiring to hit heavy ground strokes. Since I get a good amount of spin on average, getting tired means lacking penetration in my case... I have to be careful. :lol:

    If you want to add to your data, I played a guy the other day who hits very flat. He's a lefty and he just smacks the ball very deep. His strokes nearly all clear the net by a foot, especially forehand side. It's rare that he pops the ball and arcs it like me. The depth cuts on my time a lot and it's very demanding to face a forehand on your backhand wing... very nice to play, overall.
     
    #11
  12. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    I'd say 3 feet on average.
     
    #12
  13. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Minimum 3, more like 4-6 feet. In a neutral situation I'm really looking for depth and I'm hitting pretty loopy. I want to push my opponent into the backcourt to (1) open up more angles for me and simultaneously reduce his angles, and (2) hopefully force him to leave one short that I can step in on.

    I remember as junior my coach once brought out volleyball netposts and strung a rope across at like 6 feet from the ground. Neutral and defensive strokes had to be above the rope, attacking shots/approaches had to stay below. Great visual aid.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013
    #13
  14. tennis_hack

    tennis_hack Banned

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    6ft easily. Maybe 6ft plus.

    My average rally shot is like a 'fast lob' - my groundstrokes definitely go over the net at overhead (or even jumping overhead) height - not volley height.
     
    #14
  15. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    A jumping overhead can hit a ball 12 feet in the air, give or take a foot for athleticism.
     
    #15
  16. 10s talk

    10s talk Semi-Pro

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    If I play Harold Soloman, or Eddie Dibbs, 10-15 feet


    otherwise 2 or 3 feet
     
    #16
  17. HughJars

    HughJars Professional

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    Another 'how long is a piece of string' question...

    So many variables here. Court positioning, opponent positioning, surface, speed/top spin of incoming ball.

    If you want to just continue a rally then that would normally indicate your on the defence. If your worried about net clearance in these situations then, wow, you really need to asess your priorities.
     
    #17
  18. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    I'm going to go ahead and disagree with you on this. Net clearace leads to depth. Nothinjg wrong with rallying. If it's not there, it's not there. Move the ball around and wait for your opportunity. If you try to force something that isn't there, more times than not you're just making it easier for your opponent to win.
     
    #18
  19. GoudX

    GoudX Professional

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    Defence is when your opponent has got you on the run and your goal has become to delay the end of the point for as long as possible, in hope that your opponent either misses or lets you back into the point. In this case it is not strange to be lobbing the ball back 10ft above the net.

    In a neutral rally both players are moving the opponent about the court, attempting to draw an attackable shot without giving the opponent an attackable shot. In this Cassie is important to hit consistent shots which are hard to attack - which is aided by focusing on net clearance, employing lots of topspin and aiming for big targets.

    Attacking tennis is played when you get a 'sitter' which you attempt to win the point on, with a single shot or a combo. Often this shot will be played within 2ft of the net, as it could be a sharp angle topspin shot, a flat drive or a slice approach.
     
    #19
  20. HughJars

    HughJars Professional

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    Sorry, I really should of said neutral and defensive situations.

    Still, I think there are way too many variables in play to dictate what height the ball is played over the net consistently in these situations. Just my opinion though.

    I think that being in a neutral rally doesnt necessarily dictate a specific net clearance height. Same as it doesnt dictate shot type or exact court positioning. You dont have to be playing top spin shots dead down the middle if the conditions or the type of opponent doesnt favour this. You might be in a neutral slicing rally cross court on grass - net clearance will be less than if your on a clay court keeping an opponent at bay behind the baseline who has a great approach shot or net game, or a weakness dealing with shoulder high balls.

    Down the line neutral rallies will naturally have greater net clearance cos of the actual height of the net and the decreased distance you need to hit to keep the ball from going long when compared to cross court neutral rallies.

    Tennis is such a dynamic sport.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013
    #20
  21. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    Your shots are. Bound to cross the net with some margin... it means that there is a average and a standard deviation, regardless of how may variables are taken into account.

    That‘s why everyone gave a range that represent their average shots in neutral sitations.
     
    #21
  22. GoudX

    GoudX Professional

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    Everyone still has a height they feel most comfortable hitting the ball over the net at. Hitting your regular distance behind the baseline, against a lower level opponent, hitting slightly crosscourt, on a mildly warm day on an average speed court - how high would you hit the ball over the net?

    I'm hoping to see roughly what the height distribution of regular shots is in tennis. I aim for 4-5ft on neutral shots against most players, but I will change this if it is attachable for certain (tall) opponents. Against one player I attempt to keep the ball lower than 3ft above the net (or about 7ft with lots of spin to his backhand), as he can crush high forehands all day long!
     
    #22
  23. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    Forcing your opponent to hit out of their favorite strike zone is always rewarding, unless it requires you to modify too much your own habits. Some like it high and loopy; some like it lower and fast; some like it when they don't have to move too much forward or backward; etc. Find what that is and make sure he sees as few of them as possible.

    Personally, as I can generate tons of spin off both wings and use a more extreme grip on both my backhand and forehand (semi-western backhand and forehand), I thrive on high balls. Hit lower and my game is not as big as it can be -- it negates some of the effect my spin can cause. I do have answers to adapt (as I was forced to do so often), but forcing me to do so already sets you up for better situations.

    If someone starts doing that to you (and you happen to enjoy higher balls), mix-in with slightly short slices. The usual flat hitter doesn't manage to hit well consistently against that and he'll sooner or later pop a sitter you can use to get the ball up in the air... actually, the power of a good slice is often underestimated with amateurs: it can draw an easy sitter from most opponents, most of the time, unless you abuse of it.
     
    #23

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