Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by wishsong, Jan 10, 2009.
Is it basically a serve? Is there anything I should worry about?
Turn sideways, put yourself in position, and use your left arm as a guiding arm. Don't just hit the shot back to your opponent. A bit of angle could make a big difference.
It's like baseball. Take a step back. Always hit leaning forward toward the ball rather than falling back.
It's basically a serve, except you're aiming lower unless you're near or past the baseline.
Don't forgot to use your left arm to help aim at the ball.
Many similar elements to the serve, but not exactly the same. You do not need a service wind-up -- quite often you don't have time for it anyway. Use an abbreviated preparation to quickly get both arms up to the trophy position. You can use a racket prep similar to a Roddick serve to quickly get to the trophy.
The non-racket arm should be extended (nearly) vertical for your trophy, with the hand more-or-less up in front of your hitting shoulder. This should produce a good shoulder tilt for your trophy -- getting your front shoulder higher than your back shoulder. The extended arm stays up for a while to serve as a spatial reference for the incoming/falling ball -- use it to help you line up your body for an optimal position to hit an effective o'head smash.
Fro a serve, you would normally hit upward with some spin. For an o'head at the net (in the forecourt area), you can actually hit down with very little spin. Serves are hit with the weight forward (at contact). For the smash, you weight may be on your back foot/leg or your front foot/leg.
If you must hit your smash further back in the court, particularly in NML, then it becomes a bit more like the serve in that you should probably use some topspin and may need to hit a bit upward to safely clear the net.
Also don't forget that:
1. if it isn't a high ball, and you let it bounce, you probably won't be able to overhead it... prepare for a swinging volley, or just a volley.
2. don't try to hit it any harder than you need to win the point. It might be fun to put an overhead over the fence, but it isn't really necessary and makes it more likely that you'll mess up. Many times you'll see pros just swat it down and away.
3. don't swing too hard on high balls that are coming at you fast when you're at the net... you'll end up putting them long.
4. let it bounce if it's WAAAY high or very far back in the court, unless you've got the confidence in your technique to hit that shot. A well done overhead is virtually unreturnable even if you give them that extra second.
Some good replies there.
I would emphasise getting side on (an awful lot of people don't do that, instead remaining facing the net). Also, it's important to get the weight moving forward into the shot. Even if the lob has forced you bak, at impact, get the weight forward.
Use the same grip as a serve. The key is to get back behind the ball so you don’t have to jump if possible. Use a cross over step on the first step back if you have to as it is much faster than shuffling. Get your non hitting arm up and pointing at the ball, with you sideways to the net. Get your racquet head up with your elbow pointing down, the same basic position you may be in as the ball leaves your hand and you bend your knees on the service motion, unless you keep your racket head low like Sampras in your motion ( I don’t). Remember, get the non hitting arm pointing up at the ball, racquet head up, etc. then it is just timing your swing. Practice it. Most give very poor overheads when you are warming up, hitting it much to high. They call it warm up for a reason. Good timing is more important than swinging really hard. You can hit it plenty hard without a ton of effort if your timing is good.
If you can get behind the ball I recommend taking it in the air. If it is really high or I don’t’ have time to get behind it, I may let it bounce. If you do let it bounce be aware that dead balls and the surface will determine how high it bounces. I routinely get down almost on my knees to hit an overhead that doesn’t bounce very high. If you aren’t comfortable getting that far down, drive or chip it deep and come in.
This thread has good advice. But don't forget to practice it regularly.
Some tricks that have helped me when I start to struggle with the overhead:
1. Prepare for it earlier (i.e. have the racket in the back scratcher position as you turn sideways and shuffle to get in position)
2. Sometimes I find I am hitting into the net because instead of hitting out I am hitting down on the ball, since the ball is dropping already hitting anymore down will net the ball unless your really close to the net.
3. Sometimes to get back into the groove I try to hit it long and then dial it back. Once you know you can make solid contact, you can then start adjusting the swing.
No - An overhead is not like a serve.
With a serve, you will bring the raquet back, over and behind your head (the back scratch). Do not back scratch your overhead. Put the racquet over your head so that the head is pointing straight up and swing forward and down through the ball. It should be a very simple stroke (much like a volley ball spike).
^ This makes sense. You would not need the extreme "back scratch" racket drop for the o'head that you use for your serve. Tjis is because you are usually hitting up on the serve, but down on the o'head. Also, the serve typically employs much more spin, particularly topspin, than the smash.
If you've got Old Glory Robot Insurance you have nothing to worry about.
If you think of a service motion as backswing, drop, swing; then the overhead can be performed with the same general motion but with the backswing removed. You can also use a grip that is more eastern than your normal service grip because you usually do not want to impart much (or any) slice on the overhead. If you are just starting, it is important to relax your hitting arm and let the motion generate the power. It is very easy for beginners to get excited, tighten up, and try to really smash the thing.
Hi, I think this is relevant. Should I hit a smash with my service grip or a continental grip? I serve between a continental and eastern backhand.
I think removing the backscratch would be a high volley, not an overhead smash.
high solid volley is the best bet. less dramatic, higher percentage.
In this particular Fed overhead, he has a fair amount of time to hit the smash & he is doing so from NML. I would agree that the racket drop is still present for the overhead smash. However, the backscratch may be less extreme for some overheads -- this may be especially true for some quick scissor-kick overheads at the net.
Don't listen to Albino Smurf, guys. I've seen a video of his overhead shank drop shot, and it's a force to be reckoned with.
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