Amy Jensen, Founding Head Coach of GlamSlam Tennis, offers an alternate way of considering shot selection. Typically, we think about hitting shots crosscourt or down the line.
When your opponent’s incoming ball passes in front of your body, it’s called an outside shot. The high percentage play is to hit that ball back crosscourt. When your opponent’s shot doesn’t cross in front of you, it’s known as an inside shot and here, too, the safe response is to pull the ball crosscourt.
When, then, should you hit down the line? When you get an outside shot that lands short – “that ball you can attack,” explains Coach Jensen, hit it at a 90-degree angle through the court. “Words are so important,” she says. “When you say, ‘down the line,’ the player is going to think about the line” and perhaps give herself less of a safety margin.