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Old 07-03-2013, 05:46 AM   #12
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 566

Originally Posted by ark_28 View Post
I have been working hard at my footwork whether I hit a forehand or backhand and getting back to the centre of the baseline right after hitting my shot.
First tip: never recover to the middle of the court; recover to the middle of your opponent's options. At the baseline, it means that you should more or less mirror the contact position of your opponent. To make things simple, people generally assume 3 recovery positions. First, if you hit down the center, stick to the center; if you hit cross-court of your forehand, recover a step away from the center mark toward your forehand side; if you hit cross-court of your backhand, recover a step away from the center mark toward your backhand... in essence, you always cheat over expecting a cross-court rally because changing direction through down the line shots is a lower percentage play.

Originally Posted by ark_28 View Post
I love to be aggressive and my footwork has improved lots but sometimes when I lose concentration I find myself getting pushed back behind the baseline and I have to switch back on and remember to keep on top of the baseline, are there and good drills or ways to stop myself getting pushed back?
There are times where you WANT to stop hugging the baseline and retreat. You have an opponent in front of you and you have to respect the fact he might hit a sufficiently good shot to force you further behind the baseline. Your footwork, your recovery position, your shot selection -- everything has to be consequent to the situation wherein you find yourself. There are times to be aggressive and there are times where your play is to simply neutralize your opponent.

Originally Posted by ark_28 View Post
Against good players it can happen but sometimes in my case it is against players that I end up beating but just go through periods in the match where I zone out get pushed back then have to pump myself up to control the baseline again.
If your opponent makes a great play, regardless of who it is, you have to respect that and commit yourself to play the shots the situation requires. If it's good enough to force you back, you're in a defensive position. The appropriate response is not to step up the aggression; the appropriate response to find a way to neutralize the offensive edge of your opponent. If you want to control the baseline, if you want to avoid as much as possible getting pushed back, you have to hit shots that are sufficiently commanding to prevent your opponent from being capable to push you behind the baseline too often and without too much risks.

If you want the usual response, when you are in trouble, as soon as you can hit from a sufficiently good position, think about a big cross-court ball. Anything sufficiently hard and deep will neutralize your opponent. If he's not prepared, it might even give you a weak ball to attack. If you have a really big forehand and your opponent rather attacks with angles, think about deep and down the center. You don't go fancy there, you just smack it really hard down the center. Against people who love spinning the ball, it nearly always work! I have a third option for you, but that requires a really good backhand slice. If you can get set into position, hit a good slice cross-court. If you lay it down sufficiently low (at least lower than the net) and sufficiently short (you want your opponent to be forced to make the forward and knee-bending adjustments here), you'll put him into trouble.
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