4 Pro Tips For Mastering The Overhead
4/7/2021 - Staff Writer - Racquets & Paddles
Although it can be intimidating for many players, the overhead should really be seen as an opportunity because of its devastating potential to end a rally! Mastering this swing alone can immediately take your tennis game up a notch, making you a formidable opponent by sending lazy and haphazard returns back with fury.
Here are our top pro tips for turning the overhead into one of your top skills:
1. Actually Practice It!
Perhaps the number one reason that this swing is so under utilized is the fact that it is so under practiced. Don’t allow your fear of the overhead hold you back from working on this swing in the first place.
With a machine, a coach, or a practice partner, put in the effort to work the kinks out of your overhead. Putting in the time to build your confidence and muscle memory for it will pay off bigtime.
Until you’re comfortable with this swing during low pressure practice sessions, you’ll never be confident with it in a match.
2. Don't Hold Back
The overhead swing demands confidence: it’s an all or nothing kind of move. If your opponent realizes that (in a pinch) they can just toss you a lob and you’ll return their lazy move with a soft overhead, then they’ll use this all the time to keep the ball in play.
Every overhead swing should be full force, teaching your opponent that there are no free passes on their returns. With plenty of practice, your fear of spiking the ball into the back net will be replaced with the confidence to put everything you have into that overhead swing.
3. Treat It Like a Quick Serve
The funny thing with this move is that you pretty much practice the mechanics of it all the time; it’s just the set up that’s different.
This is where your mentality can get in the way. Essentially, it’s the same motion as a serve—just without the long, controlled set up. When it comes to serving, you feel like you are in control because you can take that breath and take your time to toss the ball when you are ready.
Retrain your brain to see the overhead like it’s a serve. The only difference is that you react to get your racket up right away and move your feet without hesitation!
Learn to set yourself up quickly but follow through as if it’s just another confident serve.
4. Point It Out
Another way to imitate the mechanics of a serve and to square your shoulders appropriately for the overhead swing is to point at the ball as it comes towards you.
Whether you point with an elbow or a finger, this will help you to track the slightly odd trajectory of a lob and to quickly set up your stance for action mode.
Combining each of these points will ensure that you are well on your way to mastering the overhead.
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