Being Effective At Net (Video)

We created this tip for and combined two of our clips,  “Cut ’em Off At The Pass” and  “The Net Man’s Position”, with the concept of putting them together for a more holistic strategy . This a fun new twist on some of the shots you may be familiar with!

Good doubles teams have the ability to cover the court effectively.  They always seem to be in the right place at the right time, balanced and expecting the next shot.  Their positioning and movement are in sync with each other, and also with their opponent’s movement.  How do they do that!?

In this video segment we’re going to look at how you can cover your alley and also cut off the return.  We’ll look at the concept of mirroring your opponent’s movement and we’ll also show you how to neutralize those obnoxious lobbers and maintain an aggressive position at net!

Here are some guidelines to help you get better at recognizing and responding in the moment, and becoming sharper at what you do at the net.  This will get you out of “dial-up” and into a “T3” line!

1.  See and sense the situation… get your personal camera off yourself and focus it onto your opponent.  Pay attention and respond immediately to your opponent’s positioning and movement.  Be the mirror!

2.  Get quicker in moving toward the alley and getting centered, so you can get quicker in getting out of there and cutting off that middle ball!

3.  Move toward the alley – not into the alley!

4.  Trust the pattern and expect to hit the ball. Remember, as your opponent starts that forward swing, she is watching the ball, not looking at you!

5.  Neutralizing the obnoxious lobbers: Start back a few steps back, close to the service line so your opponent notices your new position.  Do it right away and make it obvious!

6.  Practice your timing of when to move forward and split-step and cut off that return!  If you move in too soon, they’ll see you!  If you move in too slowly, you’ll miss the poach!

Now I know when it comes to poaching,  you’ve heard good coaches say, “Get quicker, see it sooner, react faster to cut off that return!  …and you’re thinking…”How do I do that?”

Check it out!  Here’s how!




  1. avatar
    Corky Cramer Says:

    Alan is a master at making the game fun for all levels of play. His ability to simplify, clarify and pinpoint how do deal with critical moments on court is astounding and the essence of great coaching.

  2. avatar
    ladera ali Says:

    Great advice, Alan. My partner and I used the anti-lob tactic when a rain-delayed match resumed, and we came back from down a set to win easily in the third!! Thanks for the proven tip ;>)

  3. avatar
    Terry Thygesen Says:

    Alan, Thanks for the another great tip! Terry

  4. avatar
    Rita Wachhorst Says:

    Alan is an absolute ace of a coach! He can analyze each component of playing doubles and clearly explain and demonstrate the whole strategy of an effectice game. This is one of many examples!

  5. avatar nav-left

    Thanks for a clear demonstration of these tactics ! As a beginning intermediate trying to get a better handle on court sense and my responsibilities, your teaching style is the first to resonate!! Thanks again!

  6. avatar nav-left

    Kalesr, thanks for the great comment and I’m glad you’re seeing the bigger picture on the court. “Rumor has it… it’s a Game!” If you have any questions, email me. Alan


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