Let's first talk about WHAT a lob is, then how to hit one in tennis.
Lastly, understanding WHEN to use it and how to effectively use it will help you make the most of it in your game.
To get good at lobbing, you need to know what to do first in order to obtain muscle memory (sorry).
A second chance in tennis can help almost every player.
What Is a Lob in Tennis?
In tennis, a lob shot is a strategy shot that is hit high and far back in the court.
The use of lobs makes things harder for your opponent.Both attack/offensive and defensive uses are possible.
When to Hit an Offensive Lob
lobs are often performed as your opponent approaches the net, ready to volley.
Here is the WHEN explanation about lobs.
If you lob instead of passing the ball, it will go over their heads into the court behind them, forcing them to retreat from their net position.
An offensive lob executed well with enough speed and spin can make it so hard for your opponent to reach that it can even win the point.
For those who do not play, an offensive lob is a shot designed to fool your opponent into thinking you are going to a passing shot (if they're in a net position), but then at the last second change your swing and shoot it over and behind them.
It is not obvious, but it is an offensive shot, one hit with intention rather than desperation.
It is deceivingly easy to use lobs.You don't see novices doing them very often since they're challenging to do well.
If you can win the point with a lob, it's an effective way to win!
When to Hit a Defensive Lob
Defensive lobs are usually executed more frantically than offensive ones.
Defense of the lob is just characterized differently since it is used for a completely different purpose.
It is used as a defensive lob to attempt to prolong the point (the WHEN for a defensive lob).
The defensive lob will allow you to regain your court position when you are out of position."Hail Mary" is the football term for a defensive lob.
In the case that the ball comes in deep and you have to rush to the back court to return it, you are most likely going to use a defensive lob to stay in the point.
Running like the dickens to get to the ball and heaving/lobbing it over the net are pretty much the norm.
The defensive shot may have appeared to be a defensive lob and you hadn't noticed it!
The 3 Steps to Successfully Hit a Lob in Tennis
A perfect lob involves three basic steps.If you want a lob to work as you plan, you must practice each step and execute it well.
Take care to follow these 3 steps closely, or you will have a much lower chance of success.
You must follow all three of these steps correctly to make a well-executed lob.You will have to practice for a long time to be proficient at this, but you have to start somewhere, right?
The most important but least exciting step in this process is getting ready.
Having properly positioned and prepared yourself for a lob makes your chances of success higher.Hand Positioning and Grip
An individual's preference plays a role in executing a topspin lob.
You can execute the best topspin lob using a continental grip or an eastern grip.It's much easier to stroke the strings along the back of the ball and get that fast topspin that causes the ball to dive at the end of its trajectory with this grip.
Learn how to hit a successful forehand in this post and about tennis grips in this article.Preparation of Legs and Feet
Get into ready position next, then do a split step.
Take your racket away from you and face perpendicular to the net with your shoulders.
During preparation and backswing, the initiation of an offensive forehand lob is the same as that of a forehand.
The same can be said for offensive backhand lobs.A backhand groundstroke is setup the same regardless of whether you use a one-handed or two-handed backhand.Preparation for the contact
Put the racket head below the ball at the level of your mid-calf as you bend your knees.
Making Contact with the Ball
As the ball approaches, keep your eye on it.
With your legs and arms in the correct position, you will be able to hit the ball high and deep while adding some spin.
Hit the ball upwards with a flick of the wrist.Drive the stroke like a forehand or backhand.
When contacting the ball, the racket face should be parallel to the net.
Make sure you put some spin on the ball and aim about well above the head of your opponent.
It is unclear at what height to hit.
You might hit it too low, so your opponent may be able to reach it with an overhead.
In the event that you hit the ball too high, your opponent will have plenty of time to attack the ball and hit a defensive lob.
Due to the trajectory and spin of the ball, it should land deep into the other side of the court, making it extremely difficult to return.It is also challenging to execute, so keep at it!
Executing the Lob Follow Through
Exaggerate the follow through of your arm as you continue to stroke the ball.
Your racket should be high in the air after contacting the ball and swinging through the shot.Initially, it will feel awkward, but over time you will start to feel normal.
Don't miss out on this.Following through properly will enable you to be better positioned for what comes next (in the end).
I hope you understand what follows now!
Good lobs are often distinguished by a good follow through.
Here's a great video explaining the steps above.