Consistent ball drop and good stroke mechanics
are the keys to a great serve. Make sure to use your hips and shoulder
rotation along with wrist snap to generate more power in your serve.
To return serve, your racquet should be centered
in front of your body in a backhand grip, as most serves are to the
backhand side. When hitting the ball, your body should be facing a
side wall, not the front wall.
For the forehand, your elbow should be aligned
with the top of the shoulder with your forearm being parallel to the
floor. Your elbow joint should be at a 90 degree angle.
Lead with your elbow, away from your body. There
should be at least 8-12 inches between your elbow and your body. Extend
outward and contact the ball at the furthermost extension point. At
contact the ball should be just past the inner front thigh, the racquet
face square to the front wall and the bottom of the racquet frame
parallel to the floor. The step into the ball should be with the lead
foot and should be straight, occurring the same time as the stroke.
The wrist should snap at contact and continue to
follow through towards the front wall. The racquet should stay level
and continue to circle around the body. It is important to follow
through so that by the end of your stroke, your hips should be facing
the front wall and your racquet head should have turned over and be
facing the floor. The primary power force comes from elbow preparation
with the hip and leg drive becoming secondary power sources.
For the backhand, your arm should reach towards
the backwall (not behind the head) leaving the are slightly bent,
in the shape of a bow. The elbow should be away from the body and
pointed towards the side wall. Make sure you release the racquet with
your free hand. Your weight should be shifted to your back foot.
Your shoulders and hips should be facing the side wall,
the elbow should lead transferring your weight from your back foot
to your front foot. Step forward setting your lead foot at a 45 degree
angle, allowing your hips to open up more naturally. Point of contact
should be off the front big toe, just as the weight has transferred
forward. The racquet head should once again be extended outward, with
the face square to the front wall and the frame parallel to the floor.
At contact, your wrist should naturally snap. The
stroke should continue towards the front wall, staying on a level
plane. Make sure your elbow stays level, lower than the shoulder.
On your drive serves, it is better to be short on
your first attempt, as this can be adjusted by ball drop or aim point
on the front wall. Keep your drive serves from hitting the side wall.
You want to angle your serve to the corners to force your opponent
to a deeper position in the back of the court.
Try to keep the service motion the same on all
your serves. This will create deception and keep your opponent guessing.
When serving, the ideal first bounce range is approximately 6"
in front of the short line to 2' past the short line. This range will
help keep your serves from coming off the back wall and being easy
set0ups for your opponent.
When selecting your shots, if the ball is chest
high or higher, go to your ceiling shot. If the ball is chest to thigh
high, use a passing shot. If the ball is below your thigh, go for
your kill shot.
If you opponent is behind you, pinch (hit the frontwall,
then sidewall) to the same side as your opponent. If your
opponent is even with you, use a passing shot. If
your opponent is in front of you, use a passing or ceiling
When in doubt, go with a down the line shot as
close to the side wall as possible. This should force a weak or defensive
Good angles are more important the hitting the ball low.
By using angles and hitting higher on the front wall, you eliminate
skip balls or other unforced errors.
Kill shots aren't the only offensive returns. A
good passing shot that bounces twice before hitting the back wall
will win a rally and is less likely to skip.
Do not force your kill shots. Use your passing
shots to get yourself in better position to hit kill shots.
When hitting a passing shot, don't try to hit the
ball low on the front wall. Instead, use a hitting range of 6"
- 24" off the floor. Then, if your shot is low, it will still
To get into the proper court position for an offensive return,
watch the ball at all times, then move as your opponent swings. Remember,
you want to control center court and keep your opponent behind you
in a defensive position. The term "cent court" is somewhat
of a misnomer because it doesn't really mean the exact center of the
court. Instead, the "playing" center is about five feet
behind the short line and equal distance from the side walls.
Dominating center court will allow you to capitalize
on every mistake your opponent makes. At center court you have maximum
scoring options from effective shots and you can also cover your opponent's
best shots easier. However, there are times when you must relinquish
center court. The rules state that you must always give up your position
to give your opponent a fair chance to hit the ball.
- Two of the best shots for enabling you to take control of
center court are the ceiling ball and the pass or down the
line shot. Both these defensive shots will require your opponent to
move to back court to return the ball, thus allowing you to move to