One thing that drives me absolutely crazy when is when a chick is playing the net and gets in a tizzy when a speeding tennis ball comes flying at her and she becomes one with the ball. I rarely ever hit someone with a ball, but it can happen when going for a passing shot or when trying for an angle. Having said that I’ve been the recipient of a few of these balls- not all of them unintentional. If you are getting hit with a ball at the net then it is most likely your fault. I enjoy playing the net and realize there is a risk in doing so. Here are some tips for playing the net:
- Always keep your eye on the ball; if your partner ends up hitting the ball right to the person on the other side of the net you will see them readying their racket. Once you see the net player on the other side getting ready or if you see that your partner is going to hit the ball to them, then you need to MOVE, MOVE back.
- Both of you and your partner need to master the lob – preferably one that lands in the corner (down the line) near the baseline behind the opposing net player.
- Look at your position in the service box. If you are standing near the service line, then you deserve to get pegged. This is the area where the ball will be at it’s final descent, hitting the ground at your feet. You need to be closer to the net in order to get the ball before it starts descending. Positioning yourself slightly over the half-way point in the service box is much better for having better angles at contact and increases your chance of getting the ball over and in the court.
- This is more advanced, but if your partner keeps giving the net person a by-one-get-one-free on overhead shots and this person always hits the exact same overhead, then come in to the net when you see this instead of back. You have a better chance of getting the overhead soon after it hits the ground rather than chasing it back where it will most likely bounce over your head.
Good luck and remember- most of your net problems can be solved by keeping your eye on the ball and proper positioning. Simple enough, but soon to forget.