The “Back To Front” Footwork
The return of serve footwork is a concept that many players ask me about in lessons and via email. Most players are told to just react to the serve and not worry about having the proper the return of serve footwork.
If you don’t learn the proper footwork, than you’ll be off balance on some returns especially on balls that stretch you. The last thing you want to do is to be thrown off when a big serve comes screaming at you.
Learning a very simple move on your return of serve footwork especially the wide serve will help you tremendously. You can use what I call the “Back to Front” footwork pattern.
You will see a lot of the pros use this footwork pattern on the return of serve.
Transfer The Weight Properly
To successfully use this movement pattern, you’ll come out of your split step and load the outside leg while making a good shoulder turn. As you push off the outside leg, you’ll be moving towards the ball and preparing to shift all the weight to the inside or front foot.
As you make contact with the ball, you’ll be pushing off the outside leg and most likely, both feet will be slightly off the ground as you transfer weight to the front foot.
Once you make contact, you will place the front foot down on the ground as your momentum carries out toward the doubles sideline as you handle the wide return.
After that, you want to swing the outside leg around so that you square up into a wide base before you start recovering back to the middle.
This is the most efficient return of serve footwork pattern to handle wide returns.