Help on acheiving a winning overhaed.
Have you watched games at club level and noticed how many overheads end up in the net!
If you want to win more points in the matces you play – do a good
deep lob or often one three quarter court will have the same effect. You have
out of three chances of winning the point as they will either hit the ball out – hit it into the net – or do a good shot.
This scenario is repeated when your opponent does the same to you. I
am not talking about the sitter which you should put away every time but the
more difficult overheads that are around in most club environments.
I am going to make just two suggestions here that will greatly improve your chances of success on your overheads.
1/. Think about hitting towards the sky. Most players believe they have got to hit down into the opponent’s court and that is how the ball ends up in the net.
To get the feel of swinging up on the overhead, practice these simple progressions without using a ball.
A/. Start by positioning yourself somewhere between the net and the
service line and hold the racquet in exactly the same grip as you use for your
i.e. the chopper/continental grip).
Now drop the racquet head behind your back with your left hand
pointing up – then reach up towards the sky with the racquet on edge and stop at
B/. Now repeat this, but this time turn your wrist outwards as you
reach the highest point (not before) so that your racquet face is not flat as
you are facing
the net and stop the motion again. The racquet is now about 60 degrees to the ground and that is where you need to contact the ball. Practice a few times.
Now have someone feed a ball but still stop the motion when you
contact the ball. When you can do this consistently, try directing the ball to
places on the court. Now add a gentle follow through.
2/. Catch the ball with your non-dominant hand. Another tip to a successful overhead is to catch the ball with your non-hitting hand.
Have a partner put up some lobs - when you take your racquet
down behind your back and your hand points to the ball – catch the ball in that
Every now and again hit the ball instead of catching it. When the ball is in an ideal place to be caught it is also in an ideal position to perform the perfect
Practice these suggestions and you will turn an inconsistent shot into a winning overhead.