Tennis: Returning a smash

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Bill, Newly qualified coach

DESCRIPTION

Player feeds an easy lob to the coach, who then returns with a smash shot.

The player has to return the coach's shot using a defensive lob and then a forehand slice - note the coach should hold his/her racquet obove his/her head after the smash to give the player a target to aim over.

Repeat the drill, but the coach should hit the smash so the player has to return it using a backhand defensive shot and then a slice.

COACHING POINTS

The power of the shot and the bounce of the ball after the smash are completely different than after a regular forehand or volley, so coaches should spend time on improving these returns.

Knowing how to counter this power (shorter backswing) and how to hit from a higher point of contact (shoulder level or above) are necessary skills to beat many net players.

Hitting a lob is one of the options that players should be comfortable with. and the coach's racquet is a good height indicator for the player to aim for.

PROGRESSION

For more advanced players, the coach can modify the drill and let them play a topspin lob after the smash.

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