How to Hit a Passing Shot
The best way to beat a net rusher is with patience.
Your opponent rushes the net and then you . . . panic. Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. When playing against a good volleyer, we try to hit perfect passing shots right on the line or at impossible angles, and usually fail. But there’s a better way: Pass in two steps, rather than one.
Step 1: First, hit a low shot that gives opponents a difficult volley. You want to hit a shot that’s low and a little outside their reach, or if they’re far from the net, a ball that dips low and is aimed right at their ankles. This will force them to hit up on the volley and make a winner all but impossible.
Step 2: Second, be ready to move and then pass. As soon as you follow through on your shot, you should be moving forward and be ready to split step and move to the ball. If you hit an effective first shot, you’ll have time to get into position for a slower ball and have lots of options. Now you can hit a passing shot into the open court—and do it under a lot less pressure.
Illustration by Jon Rodgers
Originally published in the July/August 2011 issue of TENNIS.