PANIC!!!!!! GET TO THE SIDE OF THE BALL!!!!!
your opponent lobs a ball over your head, the most important
thing to remember is to not panic. Most lobs that are hit
too high and deep for you to cover as an overhead will be
very easy to play off the back screen.
Try to run to the side of where the ball will strike the back
screen so that you can use your forehand (usually a better
choice) or backhand to return the ball. Don’t run straight
at the ball, as it will be very awkward once you arrive at
the ball and need to hit it! The safest choice is to lob this
ball back, especially if it is dropping steeply towards the
deck without much pace.
If you’re still young and spry enough to run back for
drives that pass you at the net, then you have a choice to
make before you arrive at the back screen and the moment of
hitting the ball. The high percentage choice would be to run
back, lob the ball, regroup and get on with the point. Definitely
the best choice? Maybe not!!! When your opponent drives the
ball past you at the net they usually will celebrate and then
approach the net with a satisfied smirk, expecting to either
win the point or at the very least take control of the net.
If you run back and lob you will stay in the point and “start
all over”. This is fine especially if you’ve been
winning from the baseline anyway.
HOWEVER , if you can go back and drive the ball off the screen
your drive may catch your opponents in the vulnerable position
midway between the baseline and the net. It is very dispiriting
for your opponents to hit a passing shot and then lose the
point! Some players are especially adept at running back,
taking drives off of the screen and hitting blistering drives
to win the point against their approaching opponents. Indeed,
they may be letting the ball pass them deliberately to set
up this play! This is a good shot to practice, and to use,
when the time is right!