The Approach Shot

Posted by on Feb 13, 2011 in Tennis Strategy, Tennis Technique, Tennis Tips | 0 comments

The Approach Shot

What is an approach shot, and what should you know about it? An approach shot is the shot you hit that will bring you to the net. An illustration of this would be playing singles and rallying from the baseline waiting for a short ball. When you get a short ball you hit an approach shot and move up to the net. The same thing is true for doubles if you play back on the baseline. When you receive a short ball, and at least one opponent is on the baseline, you can hit an approach shot and come up to the net.

There are three major mistakes that most players make when hitting approach shots.

First, they go for too much. Their mindset is one of trying to win the point instead of hitting an approach shot and looking for a volley or overhead to win the point. When hitting an approach shot your mindset should be to set yourself up for the win, not win the point outright. What you’re thinking when hitting the approach shot is crucial for long term match play.

The second major mistake is trying to stand still when hitting approach shots. On the surface it seems to make sense, because if you’re still, you’re balanced, but tennis is a moving game and you should learn to be balanced while on the move.

Just like learning to ride a bicycle or learning to walk, you practice until your balance improves.

Standing still and hitting any tennis shot is a myth and is not based on true application. The next time you’re playing, give yourself the freedom to hit your approach shot on the move and enjoy the ride!

The third major mistake is not hitting deep enough. If you hit the approach shot deep the ball will stay in the air longer and give you more time to reach your net position. Also, if your ball stays in the air longer to reach your opponent, this means it will stay in the air longer to get back to you, and as a result give you more time to react to the ball. Obviously, this means you will not be rushed when hitting your shots. Short approach shots, less reaction time – deep approach shots, more reaction time….it’s a no brainer!

In summary, the three major problems players have when hitting approach shots are:

1. Going for too much.

2. Trying to stand still while hitting the ball.

3. Not hitting the approach shot deep.
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