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Old 05-23-2010, 04:16 AM   #18
stapletonj
Semi-Pro
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 400
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When I was young, I learned the retreat, jump, scissor kick and smash the overhead away technique from some guy (Harold Soloman?) in a tan Jantzen tennis outfit.

Of course, then I was 6'6", 195 lbs, and could play 6 hours straight in July. sunscreen? sunglasses? Hats? Those were for sissys........

Why pick it out of the air rather than allow a bounce? only two real reasons. First, you will be hitting your overhead from a deeper position if you "bounce it". This is usually giving up an advantage especially the more topspin or "horizontally" the lob is hit. Second, bouncing it actually allows the opponent(s) an extra second or two to get ready to retrieve the overhead.

Why allow it to bounce? If it is a high lob, the opponents are going to have time to get in posiiton anyway, the extra 1 or 2 seconds prolly will make little or no difference. gravity has an accelleration of 32 feet per second per second. If the opponent has hit the ball 100 feet in the air, that ball is going to be dropping A LOT faster than your service toss, making it exponentially harder to time your overhead swing. A bounced ball is going to be dropping towards you A LOT more slowly and like a service toss, thereby making it MUCH easier to get your swing timing in place and able to concentrate on placement.

20 years later? My advice, If you are inside the service line, OK, take it out of the air, especially if it is not a high outdoor lob. Any thing deeper than that (unless it is a real honest topspin lob that is going to be a flat winner if you bounce it), let it bounce. CAVEAT - extra footwork is required, you have to run deeper back than you think you need to, but the good news is that then you step FORWARD into the bounced ball and can REALLY cream it with a high degree of probability you are going to hit a good forcing shot.

If you opponents can take the net in that period of time and volley away your best overhead for a winner, well, you say good shot and move on. If they can do that time and time again, they might just be better players and you need ot lob back.
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