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Old 11-07-2012, 05:31 AM   #8
fuzz nation
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,964
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Tough to say exactly when to use which shot, but one thing to keep in mind with the pros is that their strokes are reeeeeally good. They can often neutralize opponents at the net by pounding on them with too much heat for those opponents to produce any more than a defensive volley with not much zip on it. If the rest of us try for that too much, we're likely to spray too many shots and give away too many points.

If I'm scrambling, the lob can be my only option to prolong the point, but I prefer to NOT use it if I have other options. It's a rare occurrence that a routine lob will really turn the tables, especially in a doubles setting. For any real success with that shot, it has to be deep in the opponent's end.

The key against a net-rushing opponent is to not hit the panic button and attempt a miracle. That's going to get you donating way too many points to the other guys. Use a routine stroke in a passing attempt, but resist swinging for too much pace. Stretch a net rusher to one side and they won't have as much authority on the volley reply. Then you've got them out of position.

The best way I know for taking away a net rusher's advantage is to keep your shots low. I learned to slice off both wings before I learned to hit with lots of topspin, so I'm quite comfortable (and especially accurate) with hitting those shots at net players. Keep your shots down around waist level and an opponent will have no power in his/her volleys compared with a ball that's up around chest or head height. That's a free lunch for even a mediocre volleyer. Even if an opposing team has charged to the net behind a deep low approach, you can neutralize them big time if you can answer with a waist high reply. Be ready to rush forward behind that shot because it can force a soft 'n short ball from the opponents that begs to be put away.
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