When facing strong returners it’s important to have a plan. Strong returners can make it very difficult for your team to score points and therefore very hard to win games.
Returners already start the point with the advantage due to the two bounce rule. The returning team always has the first opportunity to capture the net and establish a strong winning position.
Strong returners make a bad situation worse because it becomes that much harder to hit consistently good 3rd shot drops off of very well struck returns that put you or your partner in very challenging positions right away.
In this video we discuss the best play to use against a strong returner. It’s what we do and you’d be smart to do it too.
We’re going to show you how to hit a lob serve and why it’s an important shot to have in your arsenal. This is a serve that you can hit really really high. You’re trying to get it to bounce pretty deep into the court.
It’s a different pace than a hard, fast serve which most players are used to.
The first good thing about it is that it’s a change of pace.
Number two, is that the lob serve is so slow and it bounces so high that the opponent who is returning is going to have to strike the ball a little bit higher than normal.
On a low fast serve they’re striking it in their power zone so they’re going to have an easier time hitting that return really hard.
So, if you’re playing a game and your opponents are returning really hard and deep returns and you’re having a lot of trouble on your third shot, the lob serve is a serve that you can try out.
Like we said, it’s a change of pace from a regular serve.
Also, the contact point that they’re going to have to hit that ball at is going to be a little bit more uncomfortable because it’s going to be a little bit higher as opposed to hitting it low and in their sweet spot which is there comfort and power zone.
First, I’m going to hit some regular serves with pace to my opponent (i.e. practice partner). My opponent is going to hit some nice deep returns. Afterwards I switch to some lob serves. You will notice that they are slower and have a lot of arc. It gives time to my opponent to think about the ball and what to do with it.
This lob serve may throw your opponent off a little bit and sometimes make it a more uncomfortable shot to then then a hard serve.
The change of pace is good when you’re mixing it up with hard serves.
For the lob serve I’m going to use the same mechanics, same stroke, as my regular serve. All I’m going to do a little bit differently is open up that paddle face and slow my stroke down.
Try to get your serve in nice and deep. Don’t forget to mix it up with hard serves.
When you hit a hard serve and your opponent is returning with a lot of action, a lot of slice, you might find yourself having difficulty with that third shot. This is the perfect time to try a lob serve instead.
Go out there and practice but don’t forget to have fun while you’re at it!