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Crosscourt problem

Published: 03 Feb 2008 - 20:48 by SamBWFC

Updated: 04 Feb 2008 - 20:22

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Hey all,

I've been having some trouble trying to read my opponents' games in terms of when they are going to play a crosscourt from the back.

Say for example I have played a straight drive on either side into the back corner and moved to the T, I seem to come to 'expect' that my opponent will also play a straight drive back. However, this usually catches me off guard and I'm usually left for dead if they play a crosscourt into the other back corner.

I've been advised to stand facing the front wall when on the T, with my racket up to myself and ready, with my head turned looking at the opponent, which is all good and I'm trying to practice, but is there anything I should be looking for in terms of the opponent's stance or swing? Because it's a very similar stance to a straight drive, just either the ball is hit a bit later than usual or a quick snap of the wrist to make it a crosscourt, it is hard to read.

Is there also anything else I should be doing in preparation before the opponent's shot?

Thanks guys


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From fatness - 04 Feb 2008 - 20:22

i remember having this problem when i started playing. my coach told me i was too square on to the front wall. my shoulders were facing the front wall and when i hit to the back, i was twisting my neck to look over my shoulder. the problem was i was not getting a good enough view of the ball and opponent. what you need to do is turn your feet and your entire body towards the back corner where to ball is, BUT DO NOT TURN TOO MUCH! if you do, you wont be able to move your feet if your opponent hits a crosscourt. anticipating crosscourt shots should be your bread and butter for hitting winners, pounce on them and hit to the nick or hold and punch them to dying length. twisting my entire body to look at the ball in the back corners really improved my game. i remember i used to waste so much energy when i did not read the game properly, i would guess where the ball might go then move a bit and then have to move the opposite way, i used to tire out very quickly. reading and watching the ball correctly is one of the things that will really up your game. hope this helps.

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From rippa rit - 04 Feb 2008 - 07:40

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Watching the ball

Sam - the tags are up on the lefthand column for revision.

I would check out the following aspects of your game:

  • Overhitting the drives (you can only hit cross court accurately if the drives are bouncing out too far).
  • Never turn your back on your opponent (a spec over your shoulder is not watching the ball, taking in the cues is a priority, eg opponent's swing, ball contact point, height of ball, angle of ball in relation to the opponent's body position).
  • If you cannot see the cues as mentioned above move into a better position within the court, and be on your toes at the commencement of the swing.

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From mike - 03 Feb 2008 - 22:30

I'd speculate that it's YOUR position that motivates your opponent to hit the crosscourt. For example your stance may make it seem that you're only ready for a straight return, and not able to turn back the other way. You may be a bit committed to that side. 

Otherwise, it may just be a pet shot of your opponent. Some people love hitting hard, low, cross courts just above the tin which are hard to pounce on.

As for reading the shot, it's probably hard if they have exactly the same stance as for a straight drive. If so, the opponent is probably using the wrist to change direction. Try to pay attention to their stance to get to know what precedes a straight vs. crosscourt return.

Finally if you're quick, you may want to experiement with hanging slightly over to your side of the T, to make the cross less attractive.

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