I somehow got moved down to 3 JV doubles don't know how that happened. We were supposed to do a challenge match but the coach that we did and thought we lost. So back to my question. I play some decent people sometimes but not that great. When they second serve they hit the slowest serve and the ball bonces at least 5-6 feet in the air. How do I hit these serves?
Let it drop to the height you like. Or take it early.
That's called a topspin serve or kick serve. Balls flies high, dips into the service box, and jumps high after the bounce. Even can jump to the side in the case of a kick serve. Very reliable, not always easy to achieve, but once mastered it's very effective. It has high net clearance so no double fault in the net, dips to avoid making an error a foot long, and is difficult to handle by the returner even if it isn't fast because it bounces so high.
EDIT: Something like this?
EDIT2: Or this?
I'm guessing you're not facing a real kicker but a soft moon ball. They can be difficult because they look so easy and goad you into overhitting.
1. Don't move slow because the ball is slow. In fact, double your foot speed to get into correct position as quickly as possible. Move fast!
2. Bring racket back high; shoulder/ear height and keep distance between your body and ball. More distance than you likely feel is right.
3. Hit ball when it is shoulder high. Crush it!
4. Follow thru with racket below other arm; almost waist level.
Don't underestimate difficulty. These returns are much harder than they appear but can be so much fun when you get confidence. Not only does it put the server on the defensive it can also play havoc with his first serve.
But, I've tried these and they work.
1) Move in right away. It intimidates them since they know their second serve is week.
2) Don't sacrifice your form. Don't slow down or muscle it, just follow through. Pace should not be your goal, but rather good contact and placing the ball where the opponent has to move (down the line). You have the advantage of angles when you're inside anyway.
3) Put extra attention on the ball at contact and hit it down the line
4) Do a drop shot on just stand there ready for a volley while they are desperately racing to return it.
All you can do is practice it. I've used drop-feed drills where you take a ball and bounce it into the ground. Another good method is to play people who tend to just "dink" or "tap" the ball back. During those encounters... just commit yourself to trying to take every single incoming ball at its highest point.
Believe it or not, the big underlying issue players have with these shots is timing. Most players use the same timing to hit these slow shots that they do to hit regular or fast-paced shots. Bad idea.
When you see a slow ball coming in, you should slow your own timing down. That includes footwork closing in on the ball, footwork adjusting to the bounce, and racquet preparation. If you match the timing of the shot to the timing of the ball, you will hit it true.
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