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stuck in the back corners

Published: 15 Jul 2008 - 22:55 by aprice1985

Updated: 01 Aug 2008 - 07:56

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I keep getting myself stuck in the back corner especially on the backhand side, all my opponent needs to do is play a crap boast and i am stranded.  Part of it seems to be a lack of depth on my straight drives from mid court and also a fear that being on the T leaves me with too far to go to get to a hard hit straight drive, any help?

I know there  may be many articles out there about his already and did a quick search and saw none but am short of time as exams loom and do seem to be a slight priority

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From rippa rit - 01 Aug 2008 - 07:56

aprice - one more little thing that will help get the length; yeah I know too much information.!

  • It is the height on the front wall that gets  the length - if you flatten the racket face when striking the volley there will be a loss of height on the front wall, unless you hit the ball extremely hard.

High and not so tight is better than half court.

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From rippa rit - 31 Jul 2008 - 07:49   -   Updated: 31 Jul 2008 - 08:04

aprice - well at least you are keeping at trying to take the volleys, and if you have a mate that will practice his lobs, that should be a perfect practice session for both.  You know a lob off a lob is probably one of the easier options than trying to hit a hard volley off the lob, try it - volley lob to the back corners.

About the angle of the racket.  Once you take the racket above your ears,  it can be difficult to know where the angle of the racket head faces - I know I tried playing left-handed many times to give my right arm a break, and it was a good lesson in knowing what my students felt when I asked them to volley, as I had little control of the racket head once I reached above my brain,  and no connection whatever.

We often speak of ghosting for footwork and movement when driving, well now it is time for you to do exactly that with your overhead shots. Take your time, to start, just move around the court with your racket, using, say, one drive or lob from the front court (lunging out) and move quickly to one volley from about mid court.  Once you get the rhythm going (keep freezing and looking to see what the racket head is doing, correct it and continue).  Then, when you are getting the idea change movements to one boast, cross court lob, one volley.  Keep checking your racket work until you become very conscious of your whole racket face and wrist/arm movement.

You can do this for five minute every day, just find a space in the park, and ignore the sight-seers. This is very good for movement/footwork, rhythm, fluency, and eventually your swing. The sequence of this whole exercise is:

  • Footwork/body position
  • Racket preparation/getting into the hitting position early
  • Control of the racket
  • Swing
  • Recovery (from say a lob, through the centre to a volley position)
  • Improvement in the ability to flex automatically from one shot to another.

If you don't get what I am on about just say so.  Let's know how it goes.

Here is a video of the movement for a front court lob.  Note looking up watching the ball.

Take a look at the video of the high volley racket work when moving from the T.

Here is a video of a Volley off a Serve where the ball is not so high; notice the body movement in preparation for the swing.


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From aprice1985 - 30 Jul 2008 - 23:31

To continue the topic, i had a match today and i just found it impossible to volley to length, or straight, i would get the racquet on the high volley and always push it half court cross court, i was having to reach up high but not jump, it felt like the angle of the swing/racquet was never right for the shot.  This was a major problems as my opponent played lobs serves to the backhand and lots of lobs from the fornt making me try to volley, afterwards he said i took them well, all that means is everyone elese must really suck at them!

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From rippa rit - 16 Jul 2008 - 08:03   -   Updated: 16 Jul 2008 - 08:06

aprice - if I am guessing right you have a problem volleying from the centre (T), or lack confidence in hitting a good shot?  So, if this is the case, not just you, but many players of this standard, hang back waiting for the next shot to come to length (opponent has lack of front court shots in their repertoire). The boast is a perfect answer to an opponent who hangs back or back-pedals.

What to do?

  • Play games where you must get to the T after every shot, and try to intercept the ball (too bad if you have to keep back-tracking from the back to the T - you will never get a chance to attack with a volley if you hang back.).  Volleys are vital shots to master.
  • Practice pair routines, eg Drive/ Boast/Drop (any routine that takes you from back to front court).
  • Take a look at the Relevant Content, Relevant Videos listed above for more thoughts on footwork and movement, and especially recovery from the back of the court.
  • Volley practice, see the relevant Gold Videos.

Good luck with your playing, it will be a good break from study.


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From Adz - 15 Jul 2008 - 23:06

There's so many areas to look at on this one that it becomes difficult to talk about anything in any detail without rambling on like I normally do!!

Some headlines you might want to look at:

1) Volleying

2) Mid-Power, Floated, Tight rail shots

3) Court movement to and from the T position

4) Court dominance (find my earlier posts about treating the T as a region and not a literal point)

5) Lunge positions and playing shots from these

6) Shot selection when under pressure (links with point 2)

7) Split step movement (to deal with those faster opponent shots - also links with point 4)


So there you go, lots and lots to look at and you might find you need to work on more than just one area - from your post I suggest looking at 1, 4 and 6 as starters for 10!!


Good luck,



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