Welcome to our Tweener coaches corner volume three. Being a coach working within a club environment I constantly see the ball crossing the net in the middle but the net player never manages to touch the ball and becomes very isolated. We have created 3 graphics below which will hopefully illustrate two hugely important points.
Where you should position yourself at the net to be in the centre point of the two possible shots your baseline opponent may choose to hit. Giving you the best chance to cover your side! Your job as the net player is not to cover 30% of the court.
Use the position above to intercept the ball hit over the centre band of the net! Remember 90% of balls in club doubles are hit cross court.
Next time you play, try to help your partner by intercepting that middle ball. Experiment with when you think is the best time to move. If you go too early you may leave a space, if you go to late you will not reach the ball in time. I recommend moving just after the ball bounces on your opponents side that way he or she will be committed to their stroke. Trust me when I say your partner will love you as you start to mop up easy volleys and you beat the team at your club you have always struggled against!
Starting position for a net player should always be outside foot roughly in the centre of the service box not on the singles tramline.
Court 1: when receiving the ball from the baseline player in a wide position you must step to your left. Do not over commit one big diagonal step left should be enough
Court 2: when receiving the ball from the baseline player in a neutral position you must take a step forward. Again one step should be enough followed by your dynamic split step as they strike the ball
Court 3: when receiving the ball from the baseline player when they are in the centre area of the court you can take a big step towards the middle of the court. This is the ball you can really dominate the court from!
Feedback can be sent to the usual address.
The Tweener Team