Date: 21 Aug 1999 05:06:20 GMT From: (Tami Evers) Organization: AOL http://www.aol.com Newsgroups: alt.sport.racquetball No one likes ace serves unless they are shooting them. What's the best way to handle ace serves from people who can't be rattled, mentally?
1) The steps taken during the serve. Often the last step the server takes
2) Which way their shoulders are pointed.
3) Any other differences in their service motion.
If you can spot one or more of these, that will give you more time to
One other thing. I don't know what type of shot you're trying to hit
Hope this helps!
Ronald wrote in message ...
Subject: Re: what to do vs. a good drive serve
What to do with an Ace serve Date: 21 Aug 1999 13:38:01 GMT From: (JordanISRA) Organization: AOL http://www.aol.com Newsgroups: alt.sport.racquetball
There are 2 types of ace serves.
1) A serve that cracks out, or can't be returned no matter how great you are. Like a baseball homerun hit over the outfielders reach.
2) A serve that is returnable, but the receiver did not make the correct play. Like the baseball player who is out of position.
Don't worry about the first example, cause there is nothing you can do. With the exception of calling a time-out to try to break their serve, everything else would be an example of unsportsman-like conduct, like questioning a good serve (I have seen this).
For the serve that is returnable, it could be several reasons why you have trouble. a) A new player that you are not used to yet. b) The server is good at faking different types and speeds of serves. c) The server hits harder than you are used to. d) You a flat-footed on the serve. e) You spread too much weight in ready position. Legs are so far away it becomes difficult to move on faster serves. f) You wait for the ball to come to you!
Suggestion Try starting by the back wall and take baby steps to where
you normally stand as the server starts their serve. This will give you
a head start for tougher faster serves. IMPORANT: Don't pass (get suckered)
more than 5 feet from the back wall until you know which side the serve
is headed and DON'T wait for the ball to pass YOU- The baby steps are needed
to give you a head start to ATTACK the ball before it passes you. Make
a BEELINE towards where the receiving lines meet the sidewall. This will
help teach you to move forward faster before the serve ball passes you
or bounces twice. It works great for beginners and young kids with slow
reactions, limited reach or limited court sense, but more difficult for
seasoned players with old habits. Just takes about an hour to get the hang
of it. Jordan
Subject: Re: What to do with an Ace serve Date: 21 Aug 1999
If you mean drive aces that are out of reach, those are my bane, too.
As a big guy, who is approaching forty, I can't anticipate, or move my
bod to pick up well-placed DTL drives like I used to. One guy I play has
such a good DTL drive to my forehand, that he can eat me up with it when
it's on, even though the rest of his game is weak. So what to do? Well,
the approach that works with this fellow is for me to stand closer and
closer towards the side he is serving to, to force him to try better and
better drives. Eventually, I pick them up, and he must serve something
else. Naturally, this leaves you very open to the CC drive to the other
side. Fortunately, this guy doesn't have a good CC drive, in that it comes
around so that I can pick it up even if I am 'cheating' to the forehand
side. If you run up against someone who can alternate photons down both
lanes, I'm fresh outta ideas! Obviously, it helps to 'read' the serve to
get that first step in the proper direction. Greg Stoner
Subject: Re: What to do with an Ace serve Date: 22 Aug 1999 00:39:22 - Fred Welfare
Hmmm, Sudsy, John Ellis, Andy Roberts each have excellent drive serves
and use them predominantly. The only pro I know of that uses the lob exclusively
is Jason Mannino. I don't think the one serve rule deters these players
from drive serving. I think the choice depends on two factors: do I need
to drive serve this opponent to win or can I beat him with the lob; and
two, I want to save my arm for as long as possible and pace myself, therefore
I will use the lob unless I have to drive. There are several drives that
do not incur the risk of the short serve, namely, the hard-Z and the jam,
both of which are frequently used by the pros. As for returning the drive,
I recommend the Racquetball magazine article, May-June 98, featuring Mike
Guidry. The article compares the old 70's approach with the current 90's
approach. Some of the critical features of the return of the hard drive
serve that I use is to firstly take a strong stance with feet spread wider
than shoulders and flat on your soles. The reason for this is to get a
low position in order to see the ball being hit by your opponent. A good
reason for being faked out is because you don't see the ball until its
too late. So take a low set position. I also turn slightly to my backhand
side to let the opponent know/think that I am expecting the serve to the
backhand. I simply doubt that my opponent can execute successfully to my
forehand, because if he makes a mistake, he will have to suffer the consequence
of my forehand. The reason for taking a flat footed position, as opposed
to one that is on the balls of your feet, is the different kind of anticipation
you will attempt. Your focus should be on the quickness of your first step,
a step about 4 inches left or right, when you are trying to dig out a low
hard drive. This is what matters. If you are on your toes or standing too
high with a short stance, you can move real quick forward but not to the
side; you would be off balance when you try to crossover. You want to get
your body turned as quickly as you can and a low flat stance accomplishes
this better than any other. The explosiveness of your first step will get
your body in position, so make that the focus of your serve return. The
smae could be said of any defensive positioning. There are about four main
moves that you might have to make when returning the drive serve: you may
have to move hard towards the wall to push a ceiling ball back, but this
is the least preferred shot as it is defensive and lower level players
should master this before attempting more advanced serve returns. You may
have to move away from your position to handle a ball that comes off the
backwall, that jams you, or that kicks off the sidewall but will not come
off the backwall. The optimal serve return is a pass to the opponents backhand
but also near to the sidewall. For righties, this would be a narrow V-pass
down the line. Another type of serve is the Drive Z that may take a right
angle off the side wall, the best serve return is the down the lane pass.
But, splats and pinches should also be considered. Any other drive serve
that does not require you to move to hard or to back up at all, should
be pinched in the near corner. When a serve is very low and hard, the impulse
is to hit to the ceiling, but rarely do the pros do this, they usually
follow the rule, if served low, return low. The only refining I would recommend
here is try to pass the ball behind your opponent by hitting the ball out
of reach widely on his backhand side, unless he leaves his forehand wide
open with poor court positioning. It is the angle of the serve return that
makes it effective and yields the weak 3rd shot from the server. One other
type of return I have noticed is the return of any of the above types of
serve cross court, but very widely so that the ball hits the side wall
early and jams the server. An advantage to this attempt is that it makes
the server clear quite a bit of space for the cross court return, and it
may crack out on the side wall. Also, it looks like a plum coming back,
but you know how that goes!!!
Subject: Re: What to do with an Ace serve Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 14:39:01 GMT From: "Rob Kulp" Organization: Newsgroups: alt.sport.racquetball I know this is a bit late, but the best way to move in the right direction to return a serve is to watch the position the server drops the ball and steps. Some servers can disquise which way they are gonig to serve, but most cannot. Tim Hanson is probably the best amateur at this because he is in a more upright stance when making contact with the ball. For example, a right handed player starting on the right side of the service box hitting a serve down the right wall will drop the ball and step slightly towards the right wall. A server that is going to drive the ball cross court will drop the ball step more to the left. It's tough for me to describe but if you watch the player when he is serving you can catch some particular action that will give it away. React more based on the action of the server and you will be there in time to rip it back in his or her face. Hope this helps, Rob Kulp Orlando, FL
Subject: Re: What to do with an Ace serve Date: Sat, 21 Aug 1999 23:17:05 -0500 From: Ed Arias
> The reason for this is to get a low position in order to see
the ball being hit > by your opponent. A good reason for being faked out
is because you don't see > the ball until its too late. So take a low set
position. > I also turn slightly to my backhand side to let the opponent
know/think that I > am expecting the serve to the backhand. I simply doubt
that my opponent can > execute successfully to my forehand, because if
he makes a mistake, he will > have to suffer the consequence of my forehand.
Subject: Re: What to do with an Ace serve Date: Mon, 23 Aug 1999 09:40:32 -0500 From: Bruce Pohl
I used to be a sucker for a cross court drive serve. I corrected this by keeping a really low profile stance - in effect I watch the ball through my opponent's legs, where their body would otherwise obscure it on cross court serves if I were standing upright. This was a tip that came out of clinic Mike Guidry did at our club last year. Of course, this still asumes you are doing a bunch of other stuff correctly - moving as soon as you detect the ball's direction of travel, cross-stepping toward the sidewall, etc. But for me the low-profile stance thing was key. I still catch myself on occasion waiting to see if a good serve will cross the service line before moving, but that is pure laziness. No quick fix there except self motivation. Bruce Pohl Team E-Force http://www.lmra-racquetball.org
Subject: Re: drive serve footwork? Date: 06 Oct 1999 00:43:01 GMT From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dano 1 fit) Organization: AOL http://www.aol.com Newsgroups: alt.sport.racquetball References: 1 Dave Peck had one of the most interesting and most effective returns for the drive serve. I remember watching him beat Egan and Brett Harnett in a tournament in Michigan where the walls were very fast, and Egan and Brett were two of the top four power hitters in the world. First, Dave would start at the back wall and lead with either his left or his right...as if he was walking towards the front wall. As the serve was being struck, he would execute what tennis players call a "split step"....... From that walking position he would kind of jump and allow both feet to square up to the front wall...while he was in the air he would make his decision to go left or right. A tennis player does a split step when they approach the net...they jump and spread their feel about shoulder width as the ball is being struck by the opponent..as they are landing they make the committment to vollley from the forehand or backhand side. Imagine walking forward and jumping over a two by four with both feet,,,,as you are landing you are mentally preparing to sprint left or right... This works...I started doing this in Houston against big servers and in not only got me moving quicker..it kept me on the balls of my feet more often..One of the important things to remember is that you need to do something smart with your return...Dave Peck would use just wrist to guide the ball wherever he wanted to and he ate guys up with precision shots...Based on your level of play, make the shot that is smart and within your limitations, using just your wrist,,,,,If you try to use the entire body and set up for a shot, it won't happen. If I can expand on this for anyone...let me know. DanO
Subject: Re: drive serve footwork? Date: 06 Oct 1999 05:30:33 GMT From: email@example.com (JordanISRA) Organization: AOL http://www.aol.com Newsgroups: alt.sport.racquetball References: 1 Dano mentioned how he witnessed the Receiver Starting On The Back Wall to return a tough Drive Serve. Here is how I learned it (have used it ever since with goofy looks from players and onlookers). I learned the "Receiving Position on the Back Wall" for difficult drive serves from several dozen "experienced" players. I have never seen anything like this before by any player, instructor or tournament pro. Sure, I REAL GOOD serve is tough to return no matter what you try, but this method turns a PLAYABLE TOUGH DEFENSIVE serve into a very offensive return by the receiver. The best part about this method is you don't have to worry or practice which foot to use or how many steps into the swing to step! I couldn't believe how effective or simple it was with a little practice. The return was the complete opposite of how everyone (and I) taught to return serves. And this method was easy for beginners to use within 1 hour of practice! Unfortunately, this is difficult for the experienced player to do since it goes against everything they have seen or heard! I first saw these "experienced players" return using this wacky new method about 10 years ago. I couldn't believe how effective they were in returning 100 mph serves, to the backhand or forehand! OK, I know what you are thinking, big deal, anyone can return 100 mph serves… right? Well, all these "experts" were actual beginners with less than 12 hours (that was 12 hours) of playing experience- and only 1 or 2 hours of practice returning any type of serve! Yea, your thinking "big deal" beginners at 100 mph with 2 hours practice, not that hard, maybe lucky… right? Well my point is these "expert" beginners with only 2 hours of experience were all 3 and 4 years old. No typo- THREE and FOUR years old. This worked so well the big kids, 6 - 10 years old, were using it too! I have seen adult "A" and "Open" players serve 100 mph serves to 5 and 6 year olds and not return the receivers return of their own serve- heck, they couldn't even touch the ball! This method of receiving is simple. Instead of standing "flatfooted" 4 - 5 feet from the back wall, these kids would relax "against" the back wall. When the server dropped the ball to serve, the receiver would start taking very small "baby steps" towards the normal receiving position 4 - 5 feet in front of the back wall. The secret is to get to the 4 - 5 foot area with MOVEMENT that will "ROCKET" the receiver into a "BEELINE" (to where the receiving line meets the side wall side wall) and intercept the "drive" serve before it gets near the side wall or near the back court. With this done correctly, the receiver is a few feet behind the "receiving line" when returning the ball. Because this happens so fast, the server is still in the service zone and has very little time to react to the return- even if it comes right back down the middle to the server! So the trade off is a return of the serve without any particular "swing form" for poor court position by the server. Remember using the OLD WAY, if the receiver waits in the backcourt for the serve ball it gives the server time to move into a "center court" position for the next shot. This new receiving method puts the server on the defensive immediately! Jordan (it really works)
Returning lob serves to backhand Subject: Re: returning backhanded lobs Date: 13 Sep 2000 18:30:39 GMT From: (Jordan Kahn) Now you understand why even the "pros" use the "lob" serve! A "good" lob serve will force the receiver to hit from deep in the court, by the back wall and usually near a sidewall, to make it even tougher. A "real" good lob serve will not be playable off the backwall, but may look like it will. The lob serve allows the server more time to position, move back "way" out of the service zone, for the return shot. This is the "key" in returning a "good" or "real good" lob serve. Not only is the serve hard to return, it puts the receiver usually in a back corner hitting the ball high over the receiver's head. Not much to do with a return. OPTIONS TO RETURN A LOB SERVE: 1) Use your current strategy. 2) Try changing strategies. Since this is new, you need to learn positioning first and the return type of shot second. 3) Have patience. After some practice it gets easier. TYPES of LOB SERVE RETURNS 1) Your current method. 2) Ceiling shot, if allowed from serve placement. Suggested for newer players. 3) "Cut-Off" or "Short-Hop" which allows you hit the serve just behind the receiving line after one bounce. Suggested for players with experience, or newer players with plenty of practice time and help. 4) Overhand pass, pinch, half-speed return. Only suggested if server takes poor position after serve. Suggested after you have mastered the above returns, ads more shots to your game and may be needed on "Great" lob serves. Basically, you NEED to learn the "cut-off" return. CUT-OFF RETURN ADVANTAGES 1) Forces server to stay in service zone, not enough time to move back. Very difficult for a return by the server. 2) Allows receiver to use more power on serve return at a lower height, like "kill-shots", "pass-shots", "pinches" and "Splatts". 3) Server, if smart, will stop "lob" serves like this and be forced to use another serve. This will make you into a much better player, not just on serve returns, but throughout the game rallies too. The "cut-off" is also needed for "A", "Open" and "Pro" players. WARNING: Once you learn the "cut-off", don't forget to "look" at "bad" serves that will still allow a "killshot" from deep backcourt. For the only defense to stop the receiver from "cut-offs" is for a server to serve a lob that bounces first between the receiving line and short line, making it difficult for the "cut-off" without violating the receiving line first. Off course this would be a easy "kill-shot" or "ceiling shot" from back court, but many players who learn and master the "cut-off" somehow forget about re-positioning for a bad lob serve by the back wall. The "cut-off" is difficult to explain in print. Have someone show you. Good luck, Jordan --- >returning backhanded lobs >From: bayesian > > I'm a C player, hoping to turn into a B soon, and here is a major >problem area for me: many of my regular opponents serve deep, high lobs >to the right side of the court. I'm LEFTHANDED, so these lob serves are >to my backhand. My returns of these serves are typically weak, >consisting of ceiling balls to the right or the left side. My usual >backhand is fairly strong, so when the lob serve fails I'm able to pass >or kill fairly effectively. The problem is that A players don't mess up >their lobs very often. > > My question is this: when backhanding a lob that's at chest level >or higher, what sort of shot should I usually attempt? Should I always >plan a ceiling ball, and focus on the touch required to force a >similarly weak return, or does someone have a technique to hit an >effective pass? Bear in mind that I am usually deep in the right corner >when attempting to return. > > Thanks for any help. > > >Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/