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Down the Line Domination

From Coach Nate Helmkamp

In the previous post, Coach Anthony gave us some great advise on the benefits of playing the ball cross court. There are also times during a point when it is beneficial to go down the line.

When we hit down the line, it is usually to be more aggressive and attack the other player. Breaking a cross court pattern for no reason during a rally is generally not a good idea unless you are unable to hit cross court with your opponent because you are outmatched on either side. Here are some situations you can attack your opponent by going down the line:

1. Your opponent has hit a short ball. When you recognize you are receiving the short ball, take it down the line as an approach shot. after you hit the shot move up towards the net strap in order to cut down on your opponents potential angles. If you place the ball well, you will be one step away from covering most shots down the line and one step away from covering most shots cross court. Put the volley away in one or two shots the earn the point!

2. You opponent has broken the cross court pattern by hitting the ball down the line. When this happens, you really cant go wrong by hitting down the line or cross court. However, if you play the ball back down the line, you avoid the challenge of deflecting the ball off of your racquet face. Sending the ball back where it came from gives you the benefit of making contact with the ball straight on without trying to change its direction. You will also likely find that your opponent will be surprised that you hit the ball back down the line because you have been hitting cross court so much, and it may earn you a few easy points.

Email me at if you have any questions.

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