We have started to video some of our recent gameplay. While it seems over the top it really does highlight good points and some areas to improve.
Hold the Line
The following point offered a decent exchange of dinking between the players, the player in grey is the person in focus. A series of dinks were hit in his direction – you often see him drop step and stay away from the kitchen line to play the ball off the bounce. A more offensive approach would be to hold the line and when possible take the ball out of the air, shortening the time to prepare for the return and play a little more offensively.
Most specifically at 15 seconds in the video – the player in black hits a poor shot and pops it up presenting a green light speed up, but he takes the step back and plays it off the bounce. Get comfortable taking the ball out of the air and being the player to initiate a speed up when the opportunity presents itself.
In a dink battle the team that speeds the game up with the right opportunity generally finds an advantage. Getting comfortable with the right ball is important. The player on the left in the back gets caught with a red light ball which creates an instant dink decision. However he does his best with the ball to not drive it directly into the net.
This leads to a green light finish by the player in blue, because given the situation where the ball started you cannot create placement and velocity on speed up necessary to win the point.
Check out the full point in the video.
It is generally best to have an understanding with your partner when poaching (stealing balls in a drop in can be frowned upon), but it is an extremely effective way to win some points. The key to this clip is knowing the player in the blue is most likely to poach.
So a few takeaways:
- Vary Return – Drive straight ahead, cross court drop, cross court drive. Keep the opponents on their toes.
- Commit to the Shot – If you are going to hit a backhand drive, you need to drive it
- Strategy – Both players came up following the drive vs. a drop and neither were in position to play defense