Are you having trouble getting up to the net especially when you’re getting really low shots down at your knees? If so, this blog is for you.
In this blog we’re going to talk about the reset shot from the transition zone.
We’ve talked about this before but we’re going to go a little bit in depth on this topic and we’re going to describe to you how we work with students working on this shot and how important it is, especially when you move up to intermediate and advanced levels of play.
It’s a shot that is so needed because every single ball that is hit to you, you’re not going to want to hit it hard.
There’s times where you’re going to have to reset that ball because it’s the smarter shot and you just want to keep that ball in play and out of your opponent’s offensive territory.
Here’s a scenario. You are making your way from the baseline to the non-volley zone, maybe you hit that third shot and maybe it’s a little bit higher than you thought.
You are in the middle of the transition zone so what do you do from here?
What’s the smart shot?
If the ball is really high and you can hit it hard in a downward trajectory you can go ahead and take a swing at it. That’s what we usually do. We stay aggressive.
But, in this blog we’re specifically talking about balls that are around knee level and they’re hard to deal with because after you hit that third shot drop these opponents, if they’re really good players, they’re going to try to keep that contact point down by your knees or at your feet.
In this scenario we have our practice/demo opponent/student on the other side, they just hit a third shot drop, they’re going to come in and split step (we talked about that in another blog. You don’t want to be moving when you hit the ball).
So, they hit that split step and now the third shot is a little bit higher than they thought and you’re going to hit a ball low, trying to keep their contact point below the net so they have to contact it low. You want to make it a tough shot for them.
If they (your opponent) hits it hard, the first thing is that they’re going to be hitting from low to high so the trajectory is going from this low contact point to higher up.
You can then send it down with pace again. So, that’s one problem for them.
The other issue is if they actually try to get it in the court from a low contact point going to the non-volley zone line, they have to have a lot of topspin to get it up and over to the net.
Those are the two problems with speeding up balls that are that low at your feet.
First, we’re going to kind of talk about an example of what a lot of people do. Even we do this sometimes because we think our contact point is actually higher than it is. We all make this mistake once in a while.
In this example we’re going to hit our practice opponent a ball and they will hit their split step. You will either take the ball out of the air or you will let it bounce and you will hit your fourth shot.
What would that shot look like?
You’re going to kind of roll it over and hit it right at their feet and then your opponent will go ahead and speed it up. They’re going to try and be aggressive.
What you will notice is that speeding up the ball, especially when you have a low contact point, is not the best option.
If you’re hitting it in a down to up trajectory your opponent can hit down on the ball.
Also, to get that ball in the court with a low contact you’ll have to have have a tremendous amount of topspin to keep that ball in. It’s very risky.
Now we’re going to work on the shot that your practice opponent should hit. This is a reset shot.
So, if you are rolling a ball or hit a great ball around their knee level, they’re going to hit that ball reset. It’s a neutral ball into the kitchen where the other player can’t necessarily attack it because they will have to let that ball bounce.
Some key things that you’re going to notice is that you’re practice opponent will be contacting that ball out in front and their grip pressure will vary from about a four to a seven depending on how far back they are.
Generally just keep in mind that it’s a solid solid contact point out in front with minimal wrist action. The paddle face should be open and block the shot.
They should also get low when trying to hit a low ball. It’s going to be a lot easier than just standing or trying to bend down.
This is the shot you should be hitting when you’re making your way through the transition zone and you’re getting a low ball.
As you practice you’ll be hitting compact volleys. You won’t take a big back swing and you will pretty much have a non-existent follow-through.
Your practice opponent will mainly be blocking it firmly out in front of them.
These balls will drop over and you won’t be able to do much with them. This is why it’s a reset ball.
It’s a ball that a lot of top players hit all the time. Every single match you’ll see them hitting this. It’s super important.
Now we’re going to describe and practice you can do of a real game scenario.
You’re going to hit two balls to your practice opponent while they’re standing in the transition area.
They have to hit a minimum of two and after that second one you want them to hustle up to that non-volley zone line. They’re really only six or seven feet back to start.
You’re going to hit them one low shot and then hit another low shot that they will have to reset again and then try to come up. We’ll then play the rest of the point out.
Keep that in mind that by doing this your practice opponent will give themselves a double, even triple, percent chance of winning that point if they reset that ball instead of trying to speed that ball up.
This is something we all need to work on.
Try to keep in your mind that if you are contacting a ball that is low it’s probably not a good decision to try to speed that ball up. Keep that ball in play. Reset that ball and then after that advance to the non-volley zone and try to win the point out from the non-volley zone.
You should really try not to end the point on a low ball by speeding it up at the transition area. It’s not a good idea.
If you hit that reset you’re going to find yourself winning a lot more points.
Hopefully this really helped.
Remember to hit that reset volley in front. Be really low. Have that paddle face open and also a good grip pressure. Your grip pressure should not be so super tight to the point where the ball is jumping off the face of the paddle.
Go out there with a partner. You guys could take turns feeding each other low balls like this and trying to reset it and then try to advance to the kitchen line and then play out the point from there.