Return of Serve Placement

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by TennisCoachIN, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. TennisCoachIN

    TennisCoachIN Rookie

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    Singles-

    In regards to working with juniors.

    For first serve, what would be ideal return placement based on a average flat serve?

    For second serve, what would be ideal return placement based on a topspin serve?

    Thanks in advance.
     
    #1
  2. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    If you are pulled wide on either side, going cross court is a much higher percentage play unless you can pull off an excellent DTL winner or forced error. Otherwise, the next shot you will have to cover a lot of ground just to get into proper position for the next shot. Down the middle serves, your body weight will end up in the middle of the court anyways so you can really hit anywhere to the court that you want.
     
    #2
  3. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    For Juniors, my guess is you are not going to have to worry about S&V and similarly you aren't going to have to worry about a lot of aces. If the guy has a serve you fear, you won't have to worry about placement, you'll have to "place" it over the net and in the court.

    If true, then the first decision for the Junior (who is likely a baseline basher) is: do I start the rally or do I hit an aggressive shot? If the former, then placement becomes less important and just getting it deep will likely do the job. If he is going to punish the ball then I would think of what he would normally do from that part of the court on a weak shot.

    One tactic that likely will work better in Juniors than elsewhere would be to go deep right at the server and see if he can get out of his own way. Lots of Juniors have serious footspeed, but not the presence of mind to get out of the way of the ball.
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    As said, CC if you get a good look.
    But to the backhand side if you can.
     
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  5. Headshotterer

    Headshotterer Professional

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    CC is good. the more to the corner the better.
     
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  6. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    another vote for CC as the basis. then dtl as variation to keep things honest.
     
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  7. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Post #3 is a good introduction

    Post #3 is a good introduction
    The next stage is:
    what do you do when you play a match against an UNKNOWN opponent
    Seeing some patterns of the opponent game does help
     
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Unknown opponent....
    Well, you did warm up hit with him for a few minutes. If he pummels a forehand, while just returning all his 2hbh's, better to go there when you're forced, and only to his forehand when you get time to take a real cut at the ball.
    If he's a western gripper, maybe heavy slice your returns to his forehand to see if he can handle, or get neutralized by your slice.
    if he's a conti gripper, so few nowadaze, maybe bounce it high to that side.
     
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  9. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Definition of junior

    Definition of junior or an NTRP level would help a bit
    Under 12 a color of a ball would help to answer your quite general question
     
    #9
  10. TennisCoachIN

    TennisCoachIN Rookie

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    Middle school age 11-14yrs.

    Appreciate the responses so far.

    When would it be best to return deep to the middle?
     
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  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    In a baseline play junior game, does deep up the middle really neutralize the serve advantage?
    That starts the point in the server's advantage to run your boy wide side to side.
    Better to pin him in his own backhand corner, deep.
     
    #11
  12. TennisCoachIN

    TennisCoachIN Rookie

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    Very good point.
     
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  13. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    I do NOT mean to be funny

    Doubles mainly
     
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  14. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Green dots or regular balls?

    Green dots or regular balls?
    May I ask-are in US?
     
    #14
  15. TennisCoachIN

    TennisCoachIN Rookie

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    US regular ball.
     
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  16. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    The return at the feet of the opponent can be very effective especially when returned pretty hard.
     
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  17. TennisCoachIN

    TennisCoachIN Rookie

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    I like this one... We practice this alot. I believe it takes valuable time away from the opponent.
     
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  18. axel89

    axel89 Banned

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    i usually hit a return straight back to my opponent deep that usually works weak second serves i go for it like a murray return
     
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  19. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Agree with LuckyR, etc. in terms of a deep return being the number one priority as soon as the wee sluggers can actually return the ball. Even if that return is right back to the server without a lot of zip on it, it's usually somewhat neutralizing when it's placed with depth. The server usually needs to back off just to hit that ball, especially if he or she serves with some forward momentum.

    I like to work on volleys and serve returns in the same lesson so that some of my kids can connect with that more compact move on the ball. Once that light goes on, they can return with a lot more consistency when I crack serves to them at pretty high speeds.

    I also like to remind the high school kids I coach to plan their returns. Instead of juggling every option while the ball is coming their way, they can be more settled if they already know what they want to do with that first shot. It can help with consistency, but also help them to be less passive when the other guy is serving.
     
    #19
  20. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Usually on first serves I'm just trying to get them back cleanly, mostly CC for higher margins.

    On second serves normally I can tee off on them a few times and go DTL/CC mix depending on whether it's a slice or Topspin serve. TS I usually attempt DTL, Slice is almost always CC.

    -Fuji
     
    #20
  21. TennisCoachIN

    TennisCoachIN Rookie

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    Thanks for all the replies.
     
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