At the professional level, when tour players get an overhead smash, no matter how difficult, it is almost certainly the end of the point. In this article, Coach Michael Mantua shares his 12 tips on how to hit the jumping scissors-kick Overhead Smash.
- Use a continental grip for your overhead smash just like your serve;
- Keep your eye on the ball and track it. Keep your non playing arm upward pointed towards your contact point for a helpful visual reference to where the ball and impact zone will be;
- Visualise where the ball is relative to the contact point of your overhead smash and mentally calculate the timing;
- Pivot and turn sideways immediately to be side-on with the ball;
- Run forward or use side shuffle steps or cross-over steps backwards to get there, do not backpedal;
- Prepare your backswing into a back-scratch position as you are moving towards the ball;
- If the ball is fast and deep, on the final step, load your back leg and jump backwards like Coach Michael Mantua does in these photos, and launch backwards into the air with dynamic balance to hit the overhead smash;
- Make contact with the ball as high as you can, straighten your arm an impact, and keep your head still throughout impact to ensure stability on the shot. The overhead smash is hit more in front of your right shoulder than over your head;
- Aim to clear the net and into one of the two deep corners of the court. However, there is no need to hit your overhead smash too close to the line;
- Use a smooth and fluid racquet swing action to hit the ball clean using the pace of the incoming ball so as to ensure your opponent cannot get to hit or return the ball on your overhead smash. To ensure sufficient power, use your entire body instead of just your arm – this is important.
- As Coach Michael Mantua and many top coaches will advise on the overhead smash, “Just Belt It”. If a ball is high enough and deep enough to hit an overhead, you owe it to yourself to crush and put it away.
- Follow through across your body to complete the swing and quickly get back to ready position at the ideal recovery position just in case your opponent guesses right and somehow manages to return the ball. Whatever you do, do not be complacent and admire your overhead smash shot. Be ready for another shot – just in case, however unlikely this may seem.
The TAG International Tennis Academy Definitive Guide Series
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This article is part of the TAG Definitive Guide Series which encompasses the best tennis advice available on the internet. If you enjoyed this article, some other interesting tennis instruction articles you may like:
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If you are looking to improve your tennis, you can look to some of Singapore’s best private tennis coaches such as the tennis coaches from the best tennis academy in Singapore, TAG International Tennis Academy by taking private tennis lessons. We can be contacted at +6598395232, or contact us HERE.
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