I recall the first couple of times I played against Christine McGrath in singles I could not get her to the net. I was so frustrated. I would hit a short ball, she would retrieve it and then run back to the baseline. Her preference was to stay at the baseline and hit groundstrokes. She has the ability to create phenomenal passing shots that were hard to read.
Two Passing Shot Keys
There are two keys to hitting an effective passing shot.
- As the passing shot is an offensive shot, you want to take your time to set up to the ball. Players often rush through their shots. You really have more time than you think! Take time to set up properly. You want to make sure your feet and body are lined up properly.
- As you line up, focus on your hips. On a forehand, begin by lining up your opposite hip (i.e. your left hip if you are righthanded) with your target and finish with both your hips facing the target.
Practice, Practice, Practice
You can practice hitting passing shots with a ball machine or a partner positioned at the non-volley zone. Place some targets about one foot in from the sideline and, from the baseline, practice hitting to those targets. Take your time, and focus on your hips.
When your opponent gets to the net first, you have a few options. You could hit a third shot drop and try to get to the net as well or you can hit a passing shot. With a little practice, you might find that passing shot is a winner.