Footwork Tips for the Overhead and Lob Rundown

  1. Initiate the footwork pattern for the overhead with a drop step. Time the drop step with your racquet preparation to the “set” position and extension of your non-hitting hand.
  2. Use a cross over or shuffle side step footwork pattern to position your body for the shot.
  3. Take a number of adjustment steps to get in the best possible position to hit the ball.
  4. Plant your feet and attack the overhead with authority, transferring your weight to the front or lead foot with the contact and follow through.
  5. Use a scissors kick to extend up and back to hit a deep, more difficult to reach lob. A scissors kick not only provides better reach and coverage but also helps with balance and recovery after hitting the overhead.
  6. Make every effort to maintain your net advantage after hitting the overhead. Close into the net after successfully hitting the overhead. Bring your body to momentary “pause” with a split step (using a wider stance or base of support when positioned in the forecourt) as your opponent is about to hit his/her reply shot.
  7. Be prepared to turn and run back to retrieve a lob that you are unable to hit with the overhead. Turn with the shot (keeping the ball in view) to better the track the ball. Follow a more circular path to the ball to ensure adequate distance from your body to hit the next shot (to avoid overcrowding the ball).
  8. In running down a lob, incorporate a gravity step to get a good jump to the ball. The gravity step (or “sprinters start”) is a process in which you drop back and unweight” your lead foot to allow gravity to propel your first motion toward your intended target.
  9. Remember to compensate for the high bounce and “carry” of the lob. Let the ball drop into your strike zone if you have enough time and clearance with the back fence or backdrop.
  10. Over-running the ball can be a “good thing” if you are then able to move forward into the court to hit your shot.

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