When you attack your opponent from your net position, you use the game’s most efficient shot: the volley. It’s the most efficient because you get the most results for the simplest technique: a block.
You can do a lot of damage with a simple volley; you get a lot for a little. However, you’ve got to have the confidence to get up there.
The volley is compact and uncomplicated because it has to be: the opponent is hitting from close range so his shot is faster. This fast-paced ball, fresh off his racket, leaves little time for a lengthy swing.
First, be extremely alert and in your best ready position; good net players always assume the ball will be hit hard and fast right at them.
Next, turn your shoulders (commit) to the right or left and set your racket face. Put it out toward the on-coming ball with your strings looking at the target. Your racket head should be cocked sharply to your wrist, slightly laid-back behind your wrist and slightly open (tilted skyward).
Now quickly adjust your feet into position and punch or block the ball over the net, hopefully deep into the opponent’s court. Recover.
Move your feet more than your racket; keep the racket quiet.
Gary Sherby is tennis director at Racquets and Togs Tennis Center, 115 Bradford St., just off the downtown square. His tennis tips appear Sundays.