1. Moving into Position
Like retrieving a lob, your first move is to step back with your dominant foot. You want to be standing sideways, perpendicular to the net. So think about twisting your body as you move. Quick is good, but only to the degree that you can maintain your balance. Keep in mind, you want the ball to be in front of your body when you hit it. (You don’t want the ball behind you or over your head.) So it may take more than one step to get into the correct position on the court.
As you step back, raise your paddle up to forehead level. To remain in balance, you will want to also raise your non-dominant arm as well. I point at the ball with their non-paddle hand. It enables me to track the ball and ensures my forward shoulder remains raised.
2. Choose a Target
As in every shot, it is important to select a specific target. Unless you are attempting to misdirect the ball with your paddle as you strike the ball, which is a very advanced move, the ball will follow the direction of your body. So why not direct your mental target to that same location. Keep in mind, the middle is always good! So go for it.
3. Weight Transfer
You want to transfer your weight from your back to forward foot as you contact the ball. Reach up and over the ball. Think about slapping the ball down with the paddle, and letting your wrist snap as you swing.
Breathe! You cannot make a natural, athletic motion if you are holding your breath.
There is perhaps nothing so satisfying as hitting a hard, crisp overhead that your paddle can’t get their paddle on… and there is perhaps nothing more frustrating than hitting it into the net. If you find yourself in the “frustrated camp” on occasion, focus on the very first item I listed above. There are several key points related to getting into position, so permit me to repeat them here:
- Move into the proper position with the ball in front of you;
- Keep your arms, forward shoulder and head up; and
- Maintain balance!