Originally Posted by user92626
I don't know why I feel I'm very slow to get to shots hit to my FH side!
Let's say I am at the center mark, I hop/split step as my opponent hits to my fh corner requiring me to move laterally, which foot should push as the first step? Is there an optimal pattern?
Let's start with this
. Maybe you're just painting the picture for us, but the center mark is not typically the proper recovery position.
Take a look at the two diagrams below (sorry, it's for Righty's, just invert it). If your opponent is going to have to hit an outside FH, then you FH recovery looks about like this, depending on the angle you give him:
In the above, you have to cover the same distance for the FH angle, and the COD DTL shot. If you recover to the center mark--given the same scenario--now you've given yourself a situation ripe with potential disaster. Check it out:
In this instance, you're covering the COD DTL shot which is a lower percentage shot. The more likely shot is CC, and you could be a full step or more short if it's a good angle.
The recovery positions all depend on where your opponent is likely to have to hit the ball, and based on his playing patterns, the shot he is most likely to hit. Sometimes people will purposefully recover to the "wrong" positions because they are "cheating" (as it is sometimes called). They've read their opponent to the point where they are willing to gamble with their court positioning in order to get an inside ball.
Oh, shoot ... but to answer your question about the lead foot: If I have to run down a ball, then I split > full turn > run. The turn / run dynamic is something you've been doing since you were a tiny child. Don't over think it. You really just need to cover the max amount of ground in the shortest period of time possible. In other words: just run!