THE FIVE HEIGHTS The highest percentage of points a player loses are on balls that either go out or into the net. Thus, the trajectory of your ball is critical. By understanding how to calculate the correct height of any shot in any situation, you can significantly reduce the number of unforced errors in your game. The 5 heights concept is measured at the point where the ball passes over the net, with each height number corresponding to the width of an average midsize racquet. To determine the correct height at which to hit a shot back to your opponent's baseline, you must first be aware of your zone location. For example, if you are deep in Zone 5, hit your shot 5 racquet heights above the net. From Zone 2, hit two racquet heights above the net. There are two additional factors that influence the height of your shot: the ball characteristics (speed and spin) and the location of your opponent on the court. The speed (pace) you put on the ball is a factor in determining the distance your shot travels, particularly if there is no spin imparted on the ball. Obviously, the more pace you put on the ball, the lower the height must be. Conversely, the less pace you put on the ball, the greater the height must be. Spin will further affect height selection. Topspin tends to make the ball drop sooner, while underspin tends to carry the ball father. Therefore, to achieve the same depth in situations where the ball speed is equal, a shot with topspin imparted will require a higher trajectory than a shot with underspin imparted. Regardless of the Zone you are in, underspin shots should be no greater than a 1 or 2 height unless intentionally hitting a lob. The other factor that influences your height selection is the Zone location of your opponent. When your opponent is at the baseline, use the height that corresponds to the zone in which you are receiving the ball. If your opponent is coming to the net, or is at the net, you must make one of two choices. The first is whether to hit a passing shot or a short angle shot, balls with height number no greater than 1 or 2. The second, of course, is to hit a lob. When lobbing over an opponent, multiply the 5 height by the zone number in which you are located. For example, if you are lobbing from Zone 5, your height would be 5 x 5, or 25. If you are lobbing from Zone 3, the height would be 5 x 3, or 15.