Coaching Tip Tuesday: The Importance of the Lob

Many people assume that power is what will win you matches, but this is not entirely true. While power is important, combining it with other craftier shots will make you much more successful. This is where the lob comes into play. Just think back to the US Open final. Novak Djokovic defeats Roger Federer’s SABR with a deep lob over Federer’s head.

The lob is one of the most effective shots that a tennis player can have in their arsenal. Why is this? It can be both offensive and defensive, can be disguised, and is incredible difficult to defend against when used properly (unless your opponent’s between-the-legs shot is spot on).

Launch Tennis Head Coach Brandon Davis explains what makes the lob one of the best tennis weapons to have, and when you should use it.

1. The Offensive Lob

“This lob is also called the topspin lob because you are creating a lot of topspin on this shot so that once the ball hits the ground it will shoot towards the fence quickly. This is the “offensive” part of the shot as it will be more difficult for your opponent to catch up to the ball as it shoots towards the fence. The other part of this shot that makes it “offensive” is the disguise that goes into the shot. This lob will look like a normal forehand or backhand until the last second when the player brushes up and lifts quickly to create the topspin lob. Since it looks like a normal groundstroke it is difficult to anticipate and cover the lob.”

2. The Defensive Lob

“It is a last resort shot that must be used to stay alive in the point. You usually see players use a continental grip and an open racquet face to lift the ball high into the air and deep into the court to give them time to recover back to the middle of the court.This lob is hit with backspin or underspin which helps control the ball.”

The lob does not only come in handy on the singles court. Successful doubles teams are masters of the lob because it tests the other team’s communication skills.

“Since there are four people on the court and space is limited, sometimes the only available shot to create offense for yourself is to go over your opponent’s heads with the lob.”

Now that you know how important the lob is, it’s time to get out onto the court and practice!

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