Doubles Tactics: Covering the Dreaded Lob
Here is Part 4 of 4 in this series on doubles strategy for players of all levels. While using a variety of approach shot tactics will greatly cut down on the frequency and effectiveness of lobbing doubles opponents, the lob will eventually happen. When it does, I advise doubles teams to drop back into the Two Back Formation!
For this article, I'm going to use 4 labels. They are:
- STNP = Serve Team Net Player
- SRVR = Server
- RTNR = Returner
- RTNP = Retun Team Net Player
The most common and also the most problematic is when the RTNR lobs over STNP's head. That's because both STNP and SRVR have to do a lot of running to properly field this ball and recover their court position. Here's how defending the lob should go from this position:
- RTNR his the lob down-the line over STNP's head
- First option for handling this shot is for STNP to do everything they can to hit an overhead smash.
- If that isn't possible, then then the 2-Back Formation will get you through!
- For this formation, SRVR needs to sprint well behind and beyond STNP.
- STNP switches sides, and ends up next to SRVR slightly behind wherever the incoming lob bounced.
- STNP lobs it back over their opponents heads!
Here's a quick visual explanation of these tactics to summarize: