Net Gains

Net Gains

The first job of any player in a match ... to get the ball over the net. A simple idea that we often overlook...coaches included!

According to Bill Patton in his book "Tennis Strategy 101" 70% of all errors go into the net. So reducing errors in the net will have a dramatic impact on our ability to win tennis matches.

To take the net out of play, we want to hit with good net clearance.  

Check out this image from ESPN highlighting Novak Djokovic’s, Rafael Nadal’s, Andy Murray’s and Roger Federer’s average net clearance with their forehands during the 2013 season.


The net height in the middle is 3 feet (36 inches). Notice that Murray’s ball is the lowest at 59 inches. So even he has two feet of net clearance when playing on average.

Roger Federer hits at 70 inches which is exactly two net levels for clearance and Rafael Nadal hits at 90 inches which comes close to 3 net levels.

In other words, even the best players in the world are hitting the ball 3-6 feet over the net. 

Top top: next time you are on a tennis court, instead of focusing on hitting a target on the court try picking a height target over the net and see if it makes a difference.

But of course if we are clearing the net, the next obstacle to avoid is hitting it out of the court either long or wide.

And this is where top spin come in ....

Next: Top Spin Explained


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