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Tennis Tip: Defeat The Lobber – Net Domination Video #3

Hello Gregg le Sueur for Online Tennis
Instruction. In the previous two videos, we showed you how to generate more power
on your volleys and also how to move more effectively up at the net to help
you poach and become a more dominating force up at the net. Now one of the
most common questions I get asked in clinics, is how do you deal with lobbers. So in today’s clip we’re going to show
you a few strategies and how you can deal with lobbing. When playing against lobbers it’s very important that you get back very quickly for the overhead. It’s essential that you have a very good
overhead technique. Now, when you’re playing lobbers, you want to
try to look for visual cues and try to anticipate the lob early so you can move
back before they even contact the ball. So if you see them leaning backwards and
the strings are open you want to start moving and getting back ahead of the
shot. So watch over here: You can start here in
the middle of service box and idially you can be split stepping and you may fall forward,
but this leg will help propel you back. And you take crossover steps,
crossover, you got a base, hit the overhead and then get right back into
the ready position. Very often when I watch club players – the pros with
the lob, they watch the ball first and then move second. You want to
move first and then find the ball second, taking crossover steps. Now, you may have to make some
adjustments to your starting position, based on your height, your reach and how
quickly you can get back. So if you play someone who is lobbing all the time, you may want to start a little further
back over here, so it’s much easier to get back for that overhead. But one thing
to pay a particular attention to is, when you start further back you’re going to
be much more vulnerable to that low volley. so if you see the balls not being lobbed,
you want to make sure you close in the net, so you can try to get the ball that’s a
little bit higher over the net. If you stand back here, you may be forced to get a low volley
and have to hit the ball up in a defensive position. Ok ways to practice moving back to cover
the Lob: So the first thing you want to look for
is to anticipate if your parents are leaning back and the strings are
slightly open, you want to anticipate that possibly
hitting a lob. so if you anticipate the lob, the first thing you want to do is you
want to move back first and you want to find the ball second. Very often I watch
players they will try to find the ball and by the time they find the ball
they start to move. It’s too late the
ball got over their head and they cannot get the ball back as an overhead.
So ways you can practice this is to practice shadow swing movements.So you
want to start sort of in the middle of the box, got your ready position over here, you
got some forward momentum and you go forward, you’re going to split you going to catch
yourself with one leg, use that leg, the left leg, to push
yourself back and take crossover steps all the way back to the service line. Now
once you get to the service line, you really have three options: If it’s a
short lob you may be base and I’ll go forward to hit the overhead. All right, if it’s a deep lob you may
continue going back and then make adjustments steps hitting the overhead
and if the lob gets over your head then, that’s where you going to jump. You going to
use the back leg to push up jump at the overhead and then you want to recover
back to the ready position. So you want to do those movements over
and over – so let’s look at that one more time: You got your ready position, you’re going
to go forward, you’re going to split, catch yourself, push up with this leg, turn cross over,
cross over to the service line and you want to practice one of those three
different scenarios and once you hit the overhead you want to move back to the
ready position. Alright you want practice these over and over to the familiar
yourself with the movement. So when you go play, it’s much easier to implement in your
game. Another way to deal with lobbers is to use
strategy. Lobbers are very comfortable on the
baseline, so you want to take them out of the comfort zone by either pushing them
back up against the back fence or you can bring them forward. Two ways to bring
them forward is you can hit an approach shot, that’s low over the net, it’s slightly off
pace where it bounces close to the service line and the second bounces
inside the court. Another way is you can hit an off pace volley
that land short. In both instances what’s
going to happen, is you’re going to force that lobber to now run forward and
try to scrape the ball up. Ideally they’re going to hit it very close the
second bounce which will make it difficult for them to lob it over your
head. If they’re hitting the ball close the
second bounce you cannot close the net and have an easy volley to put away. Now,
if it sets up be aware they can still get the record below the ball and lob
you. So the key is to hit a low ball that
land short and forces them to run forward and have to scrape the ball up. Ok let’s take a look at examples of the
two strategies we discussed: Now there are other strategies you can
use against lovers. I’m going to start with the short lower
approach shot: Now you’ll see how just practicing with
my partner my friend Chris, we’re just playing
cross-court 1:1 doubles. You don’t always
need four players to work on your doubles game. You can have a very effective and
productive practice just with you and your partner playing one on
one, playing cross court. So in this situation we rally cross
court. I’m going to hit a off pace, low
short approach shot. It’s going to force Chris to move
forward off the baseline. It’s gonna make it very difficult for
him to get the racket below the ball to hit a high lob over my head. So what’s going to happen is a pop ball
up, going to close the net, stepping out, stepping through, getting
very close to the net and I’m putting the ball away. Let’s take a look over here: Again this
can also set up your partner up at the net. You see how he’s reaching for the ball. Your partner is start to move forward and look to take the shot when the ball
crosses the net. Now let’s take a look at
an example of the short volley: So this is when you up at the net
in the situation I’m serving and volleying and the idea is, you want to hit the ball
before the service line and keep the ball low so it’s a really off pace
volley and you want to try to slice the shot. This is a very effective strategy in
doubles, it’s going to work against lobbers, but in general this is a good play,
because most people come and hit a deep valley and the opponent on the baseline are
not expecting it so often they’re off guard and they take up very late. So
one of two things can happen in this situation: He may not read it and get there late
and the ball is going to bounce twice or if he does get there ,as we discussed, in the low short
approach shot he may not be able to get the racket
below the ball to hit an effective lob. Will just pop the ball up. So let’s take a look over here: With the
ball bounces, bounces a second time halfway between the service line and the
baseline. So you’re not reacting in time, but now if you did get to the second bounce
you’ll pop the ball up, i’ll continue forward and have an easy high volley to
not put away. To summarize plane lobbers: we first
talked about how to effectively get back to cover the Lob. So when you up at the net you want to
learn to anticipate if your opponents leaning back slightly and the
strings are open and they’re going to be hitting a lob. You want to move back
first and then find the ball second. When you move back, you want to take crossover
steps all the way to the service line. Now, you may need to adjust your starting
position by staying a little further back based on your height, your reach and how
quickly you can get back to the service line. But remember, when you stand for the
back you can be more susceptible to a low defensive volley. So if you see they’re not going to lob
you want to move forward, so if you get the volley it’s going to
be higher and ideally above net level. We talked about two strategies on dealing
or playing against lobbers and in many other strategies that work, we just covered the two, talked about how
to get them out of this comfort zone by bringing them forward. First one was about hitting a low off
pace, short bouncing approach shot and the second one was hitting, when you up
at the net, a low volley that bounces short to the middle of the court
which works in many instances. But both tactics what would happen,
is your opponent would be running forward and ideally getting to the ball
close to the second bounce where they cannot get the racket beneath the ball
enough to get an effective lob. They’re forced to kind of scrape the
ball up, which will allow you to move forward and they have an easy volley to
put away. So if you have any questions on this video please post your
comments below

David Frank



  1. Dylan Posted on July 11, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Not many in depth strategical tennis videos on YouTube for free. Your help is much appreciated

  2. Bernard Mckey Posted on July 11, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    Dear Greg,
    This is a great video

    no 1 what most club players do that you didn't mention they move straight back instead of sideways back as you show it and this makes a huge difference-also your right about the low ball than god I got excellent footwork and soft hands around the net as I am playing 47 years-you should also watch your opponents racket so it give you an advantage-I always pratice shadow movement on all strokes-

    You should do the split step first-moving sideways back-then take 2 steps back on a short lob about 4-5 steps back on a deep lob then back to the statute position-

    Strategy -Hit a deep forehand but low at there shoe laces -hit down on the ball its deadly -or 2 hit and angle shot –
    if you are serving volley hit a angle stop volley

  3. Bernard Mckey Posted on July 11, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Dear Greg

    I have a theory on the Ladies final re Kerber-

    Yes Serena serve was awesome but Kerber did not help herself- I grew up on grass and I always take the ball on the rise – she stood in a statute position on return of serve she should of being on her toes and moving and taking it on the rise it make Serena think twice

    Another theory I knocked up with McEnroe 30 years ago in Dublin for 20 minutes he showed me how to hit a Flat Forehand straight arm out bring the arm fully back hit with rotating your head using your back leg-I being told I have the most savage forehand she only brings it back half to three quarters so shes loosing half the power.

  4. Bernard Mckey Posted on July 12, 2016 at 12:03 am

    tennis is about Confidence-commitment-and Courage

  5. Bianca Festavan Posted on July 13, 2016 at 4:12 am

    Please do an overhead video!!

  6. DK Ang Posted on July 24, 2016 at 12:51 am

    These strategies against lobbers (and pushers) are really valuable. A lot of us look for what to do when we get lobbed, bot we don't do the things that make it difficult for our opponents to lob us to begin with!

  7. Dakota Castleberg Posted on August 6, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    this is good advice, but is very conflicted. players under 4.5 will have no ability to effectively overhead behind the service line, and players who can already know how to do this. I'm at least a 3.5 and would only trust an overhead inside or at the service line, definitely not beyond it. Point in case is if you can overhead from beyond the service line consistently, you're an advanced player. I've seen other coaches point out the next best choice besides the overhead which I think is quite helpful as I believe your target audience is rec players.

  8. Nick Conkle Posted on May 4, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    Very interesting suggestion to move back, and then find the lobbed ball. I don't do this (I find the ball and then move back–and that often does not work well). I'll give it a try, but I anticipate trouble finding the ball.

    Any suggestions/tips on how to find the ball?

  9. Elizabeth Corbett Posted on October 15, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Thanks much Gregg for this valuable info on lobbing strategy! I'm so looking forward to doing the 2 day clinic with you in Clearwater in November and really hope you'll be working on this with us!! 😉

  10. Dire Wolf Posted on December 4, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    cross stop then side by side.. not cross step all the way.. because your movement will go slow…

  11. Suteera C Posted on February 8, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    I tired this and it works for any player that not so tall. I’m playing in double woman and mixed club player level 3. I’m 5.1’ and I can run. My opponents are bout 6.6’ and they can make a return by lob over my head. What is your advise for the next step either for my partner or myself? Thanks to put this VDO up.

  12. Heath Garson Posted on February 24, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    Very good !!!! Thanks Greg

  13. Telesia Gerstle Posted on June 5, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    That’s my mistakes at times like a lazy player this in doubles I stand n wait instead of moving forward n that’s exactly what happens I scramble to play low balls or lost the point thanks for good advice teaching appreciate 👍