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How to Hit an Overhead Smash in Tennis

Let tennis pros Joe Perez and Kirk Moritz teach you how to hit an overhead smash in this Howcast video.


Kirk Moritz: The overhead smash in Tennis. When is it used? Often it's used when you are at the net and your opponent tries to lob over your head but, unfortunately, doesn't get it over your head and you're able to line it up and hit an overhead smash, or just overhead.
Kirk is going to demonstrate the overhead and it is essentially a serve at the net, or a flat serve at the net often.

So Kirk's opponent tries to hit the lob over his head, is unsuccessful. Kirk lines it up and turns with his racket up and his left hand pointing at the ball. You don't have to point but you should get it up. And then he gets set, reaches as high as he can, keeping his eyes on the ball, pronating his racquet so it's flat, so he can smash it, hit it hard and follows through on the opposite side of his body. Hopefully, he can position himself going back, getting set, so when he executes the overhead smash his weight is going forward, giving him more power, thus because he has more weight going forward he can hit it harder.

So try it again Kirk. He turns, racquet up, left arm up, reaches up, smashes and has his weight coming forward and gets ready for that easy shot back because he's hit it really hard.

Again, the overhead smash is a smash because he's able to hit it very usually bouncing away from his opponent or even over his opponent's head. We call that an overhead spike, where the ball's hit straight into the ground, it bounces into the stands. Okay?

There is also a backhand overhead, not as good as an overhead smash. A backhand overhead your opponent is able, even though the lob is not deep, to get it over your backhand side, Kirk's left side. And so what Kirk needs to do here; he needs to turn, run back, reach up and flick it a little bit with his wrist like that and creates the overhead smash. But it's usually much, much weaker. And so an opponent is good if they can get that lob over the backhand side and force Kirk to hit a backhand overhead rather than an overhead smash.

Joe Perez: Just because the ball is a foot to my left should not mean it becomes a backhand overhead. You'll see experienced players pivot, run back and still hit that overhead if they can. They're not looking to hit the backhand overhead, it's a last resort.

Kirk: That's right. You do not want to hit a backhand overhead, you want to hit an overhead smash on your dominant side. On your right side if you're a righty, on your left side if you're a lefty.

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