In tennis, several different shots need to be known to a player and he/she should master them all in order to be an effective player. There are eight shots that can be learned such as the serve, the backhand, the forehand, the volley, the half volley, the overhead smash, the drop shot and the lob.
The first thing they will learn is how to hold the racket. This is called the grip. A players grip will affect the angle in which the racket which will impact on the pace, the spin and the placement of the ball. Players use different grips when they play and these may be interchanged during the game. The different grips are the Continental, the Eastern and the Western grips.
A serve is started when the call is tossed into the air and hit into the service box of their opponent over the net without touching it. A ‘let’ is experienced when the ball hits the net but still falls into the correct diagonal box. The server then gets two more serves to get it in. Players with experience will try to perfect the normal overhand serve to maximize its placement and power. The server can then choose to include different types of serves which including a flat serve, the topspin serve, the slice serve and the kick serve. Advanced players will often try to hit the winning shot with their first serve which is called an ‘ace’.
The forehand stroke when played by a right-handed player, will start from the right of the body and cross over to the left whereas the backhand stroke begins on the left and ends on the right. The player can use either one hand for this or both hands, which ever they are comfortable with. Two hands do give the player more control however one hand can produce a slice shot which applies a backspin on the ball. The other concern with a two hands is that the player’s reach is limited.
A volley is usually done near the net in mid-air to return the opponent before the ball bounces. This shot is made with a stiff wrist motion to hit the ball into the open area of the opponent’s side. The half volley when the ball is hit on the rise after it’s bounced and done with the racket quite close to the ground. The swinging ball or volley is when the ball is hit out of the air when the player moved closer to the net.
The lob is a shot that can be used as both a defensive or offensive weapon. The ball is hit high and deep into the opponent’s court. The can either assist with getting the player into a better defensive position or getting the point.
Drop shot is when a player suddenly and unexpectedly taps the ball softly over the net, the opponent is mostly unable to react that fast and fails to achieve anything with the ball.