www.paddlepro.com
pro shop tournaments leagues instruction rules find a pro where to play links
 
BALL PLACEMENT
HOME > TIPS > INTERMEDIATE TIPS > BACK COURT STRATEGY
Mike Marino - Mike Rahaley
01-09-2008

Back Court Strategy for All Levels
by Mike Marino and Mike Rahaley (Viking Academy)

Mary DotenMike Rahaley and I have been teaching professionals in the Chicago area for the last 10 years.  In our experience, we have noticed that most teams (especially in the advanced beginner to advanced intermediate range) don’t really have a game plan for how to win points when they are in the backcourt.  Obviously, you can get some quick points on the return of serve, but being able to construct a strategy to win points beyond the return of serve seems to be a challenge.  Most teams will basically just try to keep the ball in play from the backcourt and hope the other team eventually feeds them a juicy ball to their forehand for them to drive.  There is no real strategy to try to create offensive opportunities.  Usually, the net team will just wear down the backcourt team and hit an overhead that is not returnable.  We have devised a simple backcourt strategy that can be described in three simple steps and may help you have a “game-plan” instead of just relying on luck.

“The Three-Pronged Attack”

  1. “RECOGNIZE” - the backcourt team must recognize when they have hit a “good” lob.  A good lob is defined as one that forces the net team to hit their overhead from beyond the service line.  This puts them in more of a defensive position as opposed to when they are hitting from on top of the net.
  1. “SHIFT” - instead of just watching their nice, deep lob, the backcourt team should shift into an offensive position.  An offensive position is defined as the “return of serve” position because it is positioning yourself to be able to drive with your strength whether that is your forehand or backhand.  If you play the ad side, you would move up and over to the side screen if you are right-handed to get a forehand opportunity.  If you are the deuce court player and right handed, you would move up a step or two and toward the center of the baseline.  These positions will give the net team less room to hit to your weakness and will set up your strength.
  1. “DETERMINE”- now you must determine whether or not you have a drivable ball.  You may have hit a great lob and  made a shift into offensive or return of serve position, but you still have to decide whether you should drive the overhead that was hit.  The ball must land relatively short in the court (service line or just beyond), you should have a ball that is waist high or higher, and you must be balanced.

2007 NationalsFor the advanced beginner or the intermediate player, the first two steps will be a challenge at first.  For the advanced intermediate or advanced player, the challenge generally arises at the third step.  We see a lot of talented players trying to drive the wrong ball just because they have seen the net team hitting from a defensive position.  Paddle is mostly about discipline, and decision-making is key.  There is no shot clock so wait until you get a ball you really love.  You may have to shift into offensive position 3 or 4 times in one point and still not get a good ball to drive, but you will eventually get one if you are patient.
 
For those of you who never really had a game plan from the backcourt, here it is.  You will find that after thinking about it during play for a couple of weeks, it will eventually come more naturally.  You will now have an opportunity to dictate play from the backcourt instead of always being on the defensive and feeling helpless. 
Remember, RECOGNIZE, SHIFT, AND DETERMINE your way to victory.

 

 

back to the top
 
upcoming events
PLATFORM TENNIS
Fr, Dec 9 - CBCC Women B
Fr-Sa, Dec 9-10 - Detroit Invitational
Fr, Jan 6 - BHC Women's B
Sa, Jan 7 - NJ Mixed
W-Th, Jan 11-12 - NJWPTL States
Fr, Jan. 13 - Men's 125+
 
 
Platform Tennis / Paddle Tennis brought to you by paddlepro.com
McAfee Secure sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams  

search
messageboards

instruction

extras find a pro where to play help links
 
NEWS
If you would like to be informed when this page is updated, please enter your email address in the form to the left.

  shopping
  archive

  fun stuff!

 

shopping
Shop by Sport:
Beach Tennis
Paddle Tennis
Platform Tennis

Accessories
Bags & Backpacks
Media
Stay Warm
Racquet Accessories
Gloves

 


news archives
News is archived by season:
July - June

news - archives - tournaments
fun stuff!
Find a Court to Play!
Play Pong!
sign up for the e-newsletter

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


message boards - contests - help - links - advertising info

pro shop News Archive leagues instruction extras
pro shop home
buy paddles
buy balls
buy accessories
buy shoes
buy for other paddle sports
view cart
checkout
News is archived by season:
July - June
2012-2013
2011-2012
2010-2011
2009-2010
2008-2009
2007-2008
2006-2007
2005-2006
2006-2005
2004-2005
2003-2004
leagues home
host your league
WPTL
NJMPTA
NJWPTL
WWPTL
RPTL
MIPTL
MAPTA
WPTA
GCPTA
WPPTA
other leagues
instruction home
rules of the game
beginners tips
intermediate tips
advanced tips
 
find a pro
find a court
HELP
links
stats for Paddlepro
advertising at Paddlepro
classifieds
contests
 
Pong
paddlepro.com
2001-2016 paddlepro.com ©
click here to advertise on paddlepro.com
website designed and maintained by C3it.com
terms of site use