Rally Shot vs. Return of Serve Differences

#1
On the return of serve, I feel absolutely confident in my forehand: I can place it anywhere and hit with a lot of power, no fear of missing.

When it comes to a rally forehand, not as much: I'm afraid of hitting out and the pace/trajectory/consistency suffers as a result.

What are the differences between the two shots? I feel like with the return of serve, because it's like a set shot (not as much movement/adjustment necessary, quick reaction), my weight is naturally already transferred into the shot whereas with a rally ball, there's a longer period to react (hence overthink) and I lean back to counteract my fear of hitting long.

Thoughts?
 
#2
Any background info of the quality and pace of your opponents serves?

Not knowing the above, there is considerably less ground to cover on a serve than a rally ball.

I’d look into spacing and movement.


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#3
@Pete Player has a good point, serve can only go so far left and right but its always fairly close, with groundstrokes and rallies the opponent can hit in the whole court and make you sprint and move left and right and back and forward, so footwork and spacing and everything becomes much more crucial.
 
#4
If your return of serve is feels better than your rally ground strokes, and based on what you described in the post that tells me a couple things (I could be wrong, just speculation)
1. You are not really hitting a fast or any serve with spin that goes away from you
2. You are not really focusing on footwork, therefore your balance is all over the place
3. You have mental fear of groundstroke because you don't know how to add pace to the ball with your movement (footwork), and weight transfer and the whole swing timing

This tells me that you might be at around 3.0 or 3.5 as those levels are usually having rally stroke issues, as in this level players are afraid of the ball and always back off and lean back on strokes.

And since you are at that level, my guess is that you are hitting with serve around 2.0 or 2.5 level so they are very very slow and not very challenging to return.

I would suggest you focus on a complete ground stroke drill more, footwork (basically watching the ball and distance yourself better to the incoming ball).

But without any more information, I'm only guessing, if you can upload your video that would help a ton to let us know what the real issue is.
 
#5
On the return of serve, I feel absolutely confident in my forehand: I can place it anywhere and hit with a lot of power, no fear of missing.

When it comes to a rally forehand, not as much: I'm afraid of hitting out and the pace/trajectory/consistency suffers as a result.

What are the differences between the two shots? I feel like with the return of serve, because it's like a set shot (not as much movement/adjustment necessary, quick reaction), my weight is naturally already transferred into the shot whereas with a rally ball, there's a longer period to react (hence overthink) and I lean back to counteract my fear of hitting long.

Thoughts?
If you can hit it anywhere with no fear of missing, it tells me your opponents are feeding you serves you like. My guess is they are feeding you mid pace serves and not making you move enough.

Of course the reality is the serve has massive variety, it can be sliced, hit was top spin, kick, loads of pace or no pace. So it depends on the serve you get as to how you return this.

Of course you know what the problem is already, your forehand simply isn't good enough and breaks down under pressure. Saying you have a good forehand return is simply away of avoiding the issue.

I will tell you what one of the coaches at my club said about ground strokes. He said the trick is to find your 80% power level, groove that with loads of practice till you are confident you can make it. It isn't rocket science. Hit the practice courts and rally till you don't miss.
 
#6
On the return of serve, I feel absolutely confident in my forehand: I can place it anywhere and hit with a lot of power, no fear of missing.

When it comes to a rally forehand, not as much: I'm afraid of hitting out and the pace/trajectory/consistency suffers as a result.

What are the differences between the two shots? I feel like with the return of serve, because it's like a set shot (not as much movement/adjustment necessary, quick reaction), my weight is naturally already transferred into the shot whereas with a rally ball, there's a longer period to react (hence overthink) and I lean back to counteract my fear of hitting long.

Thoughts?
That action of leaning back with your rally forehand is actually a big problem, but at least you're aware of it.

Try this experiment: Hold your racquet hand out to your side (slightly ahead of your hip) with a bit of a bend in your elbow and your palm facing forward. If you look at that hand in this position, you'll be looking at the knuckles of your thumb and a bit of the back of that hand. Now slowly lean back and let your chest open up to the sky a little bit. Watch the angle of your racquet hand follow the angle of your chest as you "open up".

When that action of "opening up" happens as we swing at a forehand, it can also easily open up the racquet face by a few degrees and coax the ball into sailing long. This is even worse when we do it trying to sort of lift through contact and generate more topspin. Instead of making the ball turn over and land in the court, we actually make the shot more prone to flying.

Experiment with this on the courts and try to hit your rally forehands while keeping your chest "down" or "vertical" as you swing. This little swing gremlin actually creeps into the strokes of players at the top levels of the game. If you understand it, you'll be able to keep it under control as you develop a more consistent move through contact.

In case your rally forehands are generally just too hot to control, you can also experiment with a slightly shorter backswing, but keep the same complete follow-through. That might boost your control if you're overcooking that stroke and keeping the full follow-through won't squash your capacity to generate the topspin you need to land the ball with consistency.
 
#7
On the return of serve, I feel absolutely confident in my forehand: I can place it anywhere and hit with a lot of power, no fear of missing.

When it comes to a rally forehand, not as much: I'm afraid of hitting out and the pace/trajectory/consistency suffers as a result.

What are the differences between the two shots? I feel like with the return of serve, because it's like a set shot (not as much movement/adjustment necessary, quick reaction), my weight is naturally already transferred into the shot whereas with a rally ball, there's a longer period to react (hence overthink) and I lean back to counteract my fear of hitting long.

Thoughts?
how do you do with dink servers? (requires movement)

to me, the biggest difference between rally groundstroke and ros, is the size of loop that the racquet tip makes. for me, i try to elim loop in ROS... (think of what a pusher stroke looks like (short/compact), but with a full follow through)
ideally both strokes should have weight moving forward into it (opponent has a say as to how much time he wants to give you of course)

regarding leaning back... don't do that (unless of course you're just really late)... just get under, close face, and swing up... let your body power the stroke, let your arm guide the racquet to contact... when you lean back, your arm now has 2 responsibilities... which leads to errors.
 
#8
On the return of serve, I feel absolutely confident in my forehand: I can place it anywhere and hit with a lot of power, no fear of missing.

When it comes to a rally forehand, not as much: I'm afraid of hitting out and the pace/trajectory/consistency suffers as a result.

What are the differences between the two shots? I feel like with the return of serve, because it's like a set shot (not as much movement/adjustment necessary, quick reaction), my weight is naturally already transferred into the shot whereas with a rally ball, there's a longer period to react (hence overthink) and I lean back to counteract my fear of hitting long.

Thoughts?
ROS is easier once you get a reading on your opponents serve, which really just takes a few games (y)(y) It’s often redirecting with an abbreviated take back :cool::cool: Often you can just step in and chip it back effectively or use old school Conners’ forehand - hardly any take back at all needed to get a deep return ;);) Don’t even need to move from continental grip :sneaky::sneaky:

I too have more confidence in ROS than groundstrokes :confused: I feel it’s got to do with movement :unsure::unsure::unsure: I’m reacting a bit late at times. This works for ROS where the court is halved but not for rallies because it’s the full width :whistle::whistle:

Others are correct though (y)(y) better servers mean you have to stand further back = more movement o_Oo_Oo_O
 
#9
Lost yesterday, but this thread came to my mind.

Usually the serves I face are much faster balls than rallye balls. So there is far less power to be put in the return. Side spin makes them difficult to read sometimes, but in general just a short swing and brushing up, block or cut will produce enough pace to make the return go over the net and deep the court.

A rally ball however is often with less pace and to hit a solid firm shot you need longer swing and more rhs to fly the ball deep back the court. Also there is about four times more space, where you may expect the ball to land than there is for the serve.

If the opponent hits soft, and you want to play faster balls, you need to put in more effort all the time on your shots. That often spells a drop in consistency.

I often struggle with my ros, when opponent serves are slow darts into the center of the box in the beginning of a match. You need to really hit those, yet slicing them back at him. Optimal would ofcourse put them away, but for me that is not allways possible.


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