Strategy Course Day ten

Offensive Lobs & Smash

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Gotta Love the Lob

Everyone loves the perfect lob, but it’s a high risk shot. Too high or hard and it’s out of bounds. Too low or slow and the opponents can smash it. But place it just right, and you score a beautiful point or set yourself up for a rally-winning shot. 
Lob Strategies:
Disguise your lob -  A good offensive lob looks like a dink before it is hit. The same basic paddle movement and prep is involved. You want to draw your opponent towards the net before sending it over their head.
Don’t lob from the baseline - A baseline lob gives your opponents too much time to set up and attack your lob. 
Lob from the kitchen - A well-timed lob from the kitchen can make your opponents scramble and open up an offensive position for you. 

Key Technical Skills:

A dink-like lob - The difference between a dink and a lob is the rate of acceleration and the swing path at contact. 
Add topspin - You can add consistency and make the ball drop sooner in the court. Add topspin by keeping the paddle face neutral and brush up the back of the ball. 
Aim crosscourt - Cross court is better than down the line because it gives you more room to keep the lob in bounds while putting it as far away from your opponents as possible.
The lob is hard to get right but rewarding when you do.

You Can’t Lob Me: Smash

Because the lob is such a difficult shot, it is often an opportunity for you to take control of the rally when your opponent tries one on you. 
Strategies against the Lob: 
Smash it! - Always attempt to play the ball out of the air as a smash. If the ball goes past you and you have to let it bounce, you are now in a compromised position and will likely lose the point. 
Expect to be uncomfortable - You will likely be running backwards or jumping awkwardly when you hit the smash. Expect it and accept it. 

Key Technical Skills:

Dynamic balance - since you will be moving, you need a certain level of fitness and balance to get to the smash. Know your body and your limits.
Like a Quarterback - A good overhead smash is like a good throw. Power is generated from the rotation of the body and engaging the shoulder. Setup in a sideways position and give room for the arm to accelerate towards contact.
Hit the smash hard - The smash is an offensive opportunity. Make the most of it by giving your opponent real trouble.

When you are lobbed, attack. The odds are in your favor.

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