How To Get Drive On The Return
So, you want to learn how to get drive on the return?
Well, you’re not alone. Many players struggle with slicing their forehand and backhand returns, because they lack power when they attempt to drive the ball.
Getting drive on your returns is very achievable, so long as you focus on the right concepts. This means you should stop worrying about rotating into the ball, and other such minutiae.
In fact, if you just focus on 3 things. – Your hands. Your footwork. And Your aim (targets). – You should soon get the pop on your returns that you’re looking for.
Here’s some return tips that get into each of those 3 areas, to help get you clear on exactly what to focus on.
Get More Return Drive With The “Power Block”
One of the most powerful techniques you can use on the first serve return to produce amazing drive is the “power block”.
This technique involves stopping your finish (follow through) short and out in front. You want to end with your hands at shoulder height with your arms still slightly bent. Your racquet should finish on edge pointing up towards the sky. Make sure to keep your head at contact without gripping the racquet too tight. Without soft hands, you won’t be able to accelerate your racquet as quickly and will have less power.
This shorter, faster swing lets you sting the ball back to your opponent.
The “Window Secret” To Aiming With Accuracy AND Power
While using this “power block” technique, be sure your not sacrificing your accuracy, to get more power. After all, getting more drive on your serve return is of no use if your hitting all your returns long, wide, or into the net.
When your using the power block to get more drive, your ball will have less spin. You’ll be hitting a much flatter ball. So, you need to be very specific with your aiming.
One of my favorite tricks for aiming is to image that there’s a window just above the net. And ideally, you want to be hitting the ball through that imaginary window. You don’t want to aim too high as the ball will have a tendency to fly long on you. At the same time, you need to make sure to clear the net, so adjust your aim higher until you get the ball deep on the baseline more often.
How To Get Drive On The Return Using Your Footwork
The footwork pattern that will get you the best result is what is known as the “back to front”.
To do this, start by loading your weight on your back foot and leg. Then transfer the weight forward landing on your front foot. Make sure to make contact with the ball as you transfer weight. This will facilitate great weight transfer and really maximize the zip that you’ll get on the ball, with less effort.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips on how to get drive on the return. If you use the power block technique, pay attention to your aim, and employ the back to front footwork, you will be ripping powerful returns sooner than you might think.