The dreaded question when I am teaching my students: how do we finish the point when we are controlling the net? Ok, not a bad question. Well, there is no miracle shot that is going to get you points but variation and shot selection are key. As you are in control of the net, lets divide the court with two parallel lines in between the net and the baseline. Lets call Area A (Green Light) the area from the net to halfway up the service boxes. Area B (Yellow Light) is the area from halfway up the service boxes all the way to a line that is half a yard deeper than service line. Area C (Red Light) is the area from last drawn line to the baseline.

If you receive a ball around the Area C you normally think of just hitting the ball deep and normally down the middle. Because it was a good lob that put you in this defensive position, you are expecting a drive back which means you might have to give the net up. Therefore you would probably not rush back to the net as you will not get there in time and might lose the point to a good drive. If you return slowly you can return a good drive off the back screen and play a weak drive or even a lob out of the air if you get lucky and your partner might be able to get the volley.

If you get a ball in the Area B we have more options. Your main objective in this area is to “MAKE” the opponents give you a short enough overhead in Area A (Green) where you can be more attacking. Please remember MAKE is in capitals as you are trying to get into A and not just keep the ball in play. Now you should normally go deep down the middle and start varying the pace and then as a variation go to the back side screen in such a way that you do not really hit too close to the side line as that would be low percentage!

Now if you get inside Area A and you are moving forward you can go NUTS:) You have so many options and there are very few bad options. The key here is to remember what you did with the last short ball and vary that shot. Hitting too many of the same shots will not be good because you are not playing a robot. Remember if you can make someone hit more short balls more than you, you will win no matter how good their finishing shot is as they will hardly ever get to use it from being under pressure all the time.

Remember to figure out how to get short balls and winning points will come naturally!! Try to live all aspects of your life in the green… 🙂