Want to hit your forehands and backhands on a dime? Click Here! Hit laser guided passing shots with ease – Click Here! Putting away sitters should be the easiest shot in tennis. But they’re just as easy to mess up! Here’s how to handle high bouncing mid-court balls with confidence… Comments? Questions? Leave them down below. Thanks for watching! Get the most accurate groundstrokes of your life – Click Here! Forehand Technique, Short Court| Related Posts Leave A Comment Cancel reply Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 76 Comments Laura November 25, 2018 at 11:24 am - Reply I struggle so much with the "floater" mid-court ball. I always feel like being short (5'2"), I am always hitting it at shoulder or higher level after it bounces. I struggle to time contact with the ball where it's waist-chest high and ultimately end up hitting it long most of the time. I like the first tip the best – about keeping your arm extended and not pulled in. Thanks! Cal May 1, 2017 at 7:44 pm - Reply Great pointers. Very useful. No like button to click! rob September 1, 2016 at 9:27 pm - Reply Great Video. i would click like if there was a like button. Hemang August 15, 2016 at 7:14 pm - Reply great tip. However, with all such videos, if you could demonstrate in slow motion, it would be much more helpful thanks Terry Smith August 14, 2016 at 8:08 pm - Reply Always first class instruction. Am I right in thinking Ira begins the stroke just below the ball to get a top spine on the shot? Murray August 12, 2016 at 4:49 pm - Reply Thanks for the demo. The tip about the elbow is good. If you cover the topic again, I'd mention the footwork employed. I've found that footwork is essential, too. On short sitters, weight on my front foot tends to drive the ball downward and give me the angle I want. On deep sitters, weight on my back foot is better. Mohammed Basith Awan August 12, 2016 at 6:48 am - Reply Good video. My issue is more with the short sitter on the forehand side that stays low. I find it very difficult to hit an agressive approach off of that and I know I am not alone. Could you please do a video on that? Nirode August 11, 2016 at 11:19 pm - Reply Thanks for the lesson. David Lidster August 11, 2016 at 12:55 pm - Reply Thank you for this concise and informative video. The comment about hitting at three quarter speed and not trying to hit a winner was very helpful for me. Thank you. David Ian Westermann August 11, 2016 at 3:02 pm - Reply You're very welcome, David! Rob Millsop August 11, 2016 at 11:48 am - Reply Good comments..but an important point you neglected is that the visual contact point on the ball itself should be at 12 o'clock..the court is shorter as you approach and the goal should be to swing from slightly below the height of the ball, and then to hit over the ball..the vast majority of misses on the short ball go long Chris August 11, 2016 at 11:43 am - Reply Great lesson. Is there a way you can show the shot in slow motion? Trying to see exactly the arm, hand and racket position in real time is difficult. Will try to work on the shot, thanks! Scott higgins August 11, 2016 at 11:31 am - Reply Thanks for this lesson. I've been bugged by sitters since I play with guys my age (70+) and such shots are plentiful. I'm now off to practice.😊 Kathy August 11, 2016 at 11:13 am - Reply Thanks for your short videos!! One thing that will turn me off is someone belaboring the point. Short and sweet bites of info are more easily remembered and used! Ron August 11, 2016 at 10:19 am - Reply Very good. Always viewed this shot as more of a put away opportunity with the result being too many balls in the net. Elbow up and away from the body is a great visual along with body turn should help to keep errors down. Keep these short, concise tips coming. JLee August 11, 2016 at 10:12 am - Reply How about short balls in middle that arent so high bouncing? Those give me fits Isza August 11, 2016 at 10:06 am - Reply I wish you could show more from different angle – for exlample foot wrk , shoulder , arm , going forward and hit . Isza jackson September 3, 2015 at 11:55 am - Reply I really enjoy all of the the secret you share on how and what it takes to improve your tennis game, learning first hand from the pros. BRAVO Zulu#! Great job keep en coming. Federer secrets is auwsome! ! Ian Westermann September 3, 2015 at 6:03 pm - Reply Thank you so much for the feedback, Jackson! ty clark August 26, 2015 at 12:15 am - Reply Hi Ian, Thank you for your great videos. I have problems when moving just inside the baseline and at the same time realizing the ball is coming fast at my feet or close to the body. I can't adjust my position fast enough to hit the ball back properly. I think it is mostly my slow reading of the ball and lack of quick footwork. I wonder if you can made a video to talk about how to handle this type of situations for a recreational player. Thanks, Ty Allan August 20, 2015 at 3:46 pm - Reply Can you show me the same technique for a one handed backhand Bob August 19, 2015 at 1:32 pm - Reply Great video and instruction The "I"s' have it! Ron B August 19, 2015 at 9:10 am - Reply Welcome aboard Ira. (It's the Ian and Ira Show!) Unlike many who watch these videos, I have an old-school continental forehand (and it ain't changing). Will that change how I set up for this shot? I like the focus on using this ball as an attacking shot, as opposed to as an outright winner. Too often I go for too much on these balls miss. My mantra these days is "bigger target" dummy. Bob C. August 19, 2015 at 8:20 am - Reply PS: Two I's are better than one. Bob C. August 19, 2015 at 8:18 am - Reply Another excellent instructional video, and it's great that we now have two coaches for the price of one. And the price of this latest video is pretty darned reasonable, if you ask me. I know of no other tennis instructional website that has two coaches for us, so you guys have another first, and a refreshing one it is. Right, the whole point of modern tennis strategy–at least among pros–seems to be to control the point till tada! you get, a short ball. So this is a much-needed lesson. I'm not convinced that pros always succeed in putting away the short ball. Sometimes, yes, but often they need to tighten the death grip (as you demonstrate) before they get the put-away. I think, if you're going to do a follow-up, you could do one on the footwork: if you get a short ball sitter when you're on the baseline, take one or two run steps then one or two side shuffles, then yes: hit off your front foot and mule kick behind with the other one. Ian Westermann August 19, 2015 at 10:02 pm - Reply Thank you for the kind words, Bob. Greatly appreciated by both of us. Thanks for the input and suggestions as well. Ian Westermann August 19, 2015 at 10:11 pm - Reply I just spent a few minutes thinking about your comments, Bob. I can actually think of one other site that has two pros on and off, but they don't really publish anything anymore. As for everybody else….you're right, there's only one single teacher. I never really thought about that before. Not sure what it means, but I'm happy to break free of the pack in that regard 😉 Roger Gregory August 19, 2015 at 7:15 am - Reply Good! charles August 19, 2015 at 6:58 am - Reply Good video, well done. Please do one on best way to hit the short low bouncing ball? Robert August 19, 2015 at 12:36 am - Reply This is very useful. Ira is a terrific addition I enjoying watching. And I want to point out that any of us who can execute this shot consistently and who can integrate different footwork patterns with the stroke will not likely have to ask how to hit it faster or with more topspin or at a different angle. All the successful shots we see on TV contain these fundamentals. Dario Miranda August 18, 2015 at 8:48 pm - Reply A short, simple and pretty useful video. Congrats… I really enjoyed it and found great fundamentals in it. Keep going with the good work… Thank you !!! DN August 18, 2015 at 6:00 pm - Reply You advertise how to deal with short sitters,then you show something else, like dropping a racquet. Really? John August 18, 2015 at 5:23 pm - Reply Nice video but most pro players put those sitters away with a jumping shot and with force they usually don't set up the shot. Is there not a way to put those shots away consistently like the pros do it? Cheers. Ian Westermann August 18, 2015 at 5:27 pm - Reply You're absolutely right, John. However, please realize that we're not making videos for pro players. We're making videos for amateur players who on average still struggle with the fundamentals. I know it isn't as exciting or sexy, but these are the elements that the vast majority of players need to improve on. So, yes, there is a way to put those sittings away like the pros. We'll probably do some videos about how to hit more aggressively, but most of them will be targeting what amateur players need to work on more than that. Thank you for watching and commenting! Istvan August 18, 2015 at 5:15 pm - Reply Useful, short and condensed enough. Bravo. Thank you. Ian Westermann August 18, 2015 at 5:27 pm - Reply Glad you enjoyed it, Istvan. Patricia Jones August 18, 2015 at 5:12 pm - Reply Excellent instruction Brief intro, 3quick steps to remember Great teaching method. Too much description and too many repetitive remarks in the instruction are annoying. Most of us cannot focus on the goal with those distractions. Can wait yo practice this on the court and send it on to my partner. Teach us more tips. Ian Westermann August 18, 2015 at 5:27 pm - Reply Thanks so much for the feedback, Patricia. steve August 18, 2015 at 4:18 pm - Reply hi, ian: do you recommend the same principles for the backhand set-up shot? Thad August 18, 2015 at 3:34 pm - Reply A few questions regarding Ira's set-up and finish on the sitter. I noticed Ira finishes pretty high. I've been taught to finish this shot with a high-to-low swing path, "racquet finishes in left pocket". Also, he takes the ball off the front foot rather than setting up and loading off the back foot. In both cases, is this just preference, or do you recommend one over the other? Thanks again for another great video! Robert August 19, 2015 at 12:51 am - Reply I think Ira's footwork loading on the front foot helps keep him sideways during his preparation and moving fluidly through the shot. There are other footwork choices that are situational, for example when moving up and over quickly stepping into the shot with the outside foot and stepping through the shot with the inside foot. I saw Azarenka practicing that footwork pattern from a semi open stance over and over. It is probably a good idea to have a default footwork pattern to go to, but also to be able to be comfortable using other footwork in different situations. warren August 18, 2015 at 3:32 pm - Reply hey guys thanks for all the videos and great instruction. I was noticing it seems like it's almost always windy there. I live on the Oregon coast where is also windy almost all the time. How about a video on playing in the wind…. thank you Warren Alex August 18, 2015 at 2:30 pm - Reply Good job guys! Keep it going, specially on those too-easy-to-miss kind of shots (i.e. volleys from close at the net..,etc.) that we, the amateurs miss so often in a match and make us loose very important points! After I will become a pro (never!), I will learn the -Crushing Short Balls- looked after by Jojo. Just have to remind him to take is gradually, from 4.0 to a pro level, there are many steps to go. Just an opinion from a 68 old tennis player for more than 40 years. Jojo August 18, 2015 at 1:28 pm - Reply I think the lesson's title – Crushing Short Balls – is a more appropriate "approach' to playing short balls. Over and over again, I hear that the short ball is a setup shot. But, everyone knows that pro's crush short balls away all the time. I've hit balls as Ira described, only to be lobbed, passed, or to flub the volley. And I've played against plenty of 4.0 players that would routinely treat my short balls as put-aways. That's what I want to learn to do. Ian Westermann August 18, 2015 at 1:50 pm - Reply Ya, that's a good comment, Jojo. We're working on changing the preview image so it more accurately reflects the shot Ira demonstrated. Jojo August 18, 2015 at 1:03 pm - Reply Just curious, why is Ira taking over "front of the camera" duties? Ian Westermann August 18, 2015 at 1:04 pm - Reply He isn't taking over, just supplementing. Unfortunately you'll still see lots of me 😉 BrianT August 18, 2015 at 12:45 pm - Reply Great demonstration. Keeping your eyes in the ball is really the key to this shot, and a few practice swings should be part of everyone's half court mini tennis warm up period. Keep it up, Ix2. David Lidster August 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm - Reply I found this video very helpful. In particular, the point about keeping the elbow away from the body. will August 18, 2015 at 12:10 pm - Reply excellent tutorial! these are points i have evolved to when attacking the short ball but never had my philosophy validated, until now. now i am certain i am doing it right – keeping my elbow up, placing it in the corner and approaching the net, not trying kill it. not trying to kill it was a difficult decision but one day i realized "why are you making the error when you are controlling the rally??! the person making the error should be the opponent who is under extreme pressure. quit letting them off the hook." from that point i started playing the shot as a setup shot to be finished at net. now please do one for the 1hbh! THANKS Ian Westermann August 18, 2015 at 12:25 pm - Reply Great to hear you enjoyed it, Will. Thanks for watching. We'll add the 1hbh to our list…. Peter August 18, 2015 at 11:58 am - Reply I also would like to see a demosntration of this for the one-handed-backhand. Thank you Ian Westermann August 18, 2015 at 12:24 pm - Reply We'll add that to our list, Peter. Thanks for watching. Juan Martín August 18, 2015 at 11:54 am - Reply Often, when your shot hurts an opponent it gets you a short ball, but often that ball is also a low (not high) bouncing ball. What is your advice regarding low balls? If I hit it softly I get passed (unless it is a good drop shot), If I hit harder I either tend to hit the net or by trying to get passed the net I either hit long or hit a short looping ball that bounces near the service line or even a bit behind it. I would really like to learn to hit those inverted forehands to the backhand from low balls bouncing close to the middle of the court. Ian Westermann August 18, 2015 at 12:24 pm - Reply Excellent question, Juan. We've added that shot to our list of topics for the future as several others asked about it as well. John Smith August 18, 2015 at 11:47 am - Reply Exactly what I needed. Off to the courts to try it out right now. Thank you. Ian Westermann August 18, 2015 at 12:23 pm - Reply Awesome, John, that's what we love to hear. Come back and let us know how it went! John August 18, 2015 at 11:15 am - Reply Thanks so much for this. I can't wait to get out and try these tips. This is an absolute fatal shot for me. Even in practice, I could never figure out a technique to get any consistency with it. Ian Westermann August 18, 2015 at 12:22 pm - Reply You're very welcome, John. Come back and let us know how you do. Paul C. August 18, 2015 at 11:01 am - Reply That's hitting it off the bounce, and it isn't "crushing" it like you describe in the title. I was hoping to see a put-away shot for a slow high-bouncing (shoulder to head-height) ball, which I don't seem to get the timing right on the swing. The one option I use if it's high enough is to crouch down and do an overhead, which isn't always convenient. I was hoping to learn a swing like they do on tv for a "crushing" shot 🙂 . Ian Westermann August 18, 2015 at 12:22 pm - Reply Point taken, Paul. We should probably adjust the title since Ira emphasized making a measured, controlled swing in his presentation. We'll add your idea/topic to our list of ones to use in the future. Most players aren't at a level where it's smart to go for a huge swing on these shots…..but it sure is fun to do when it works 🙂 Markos Vougiouklis August 18, 2015 at 10:45 am - Reply Simple, clear, efficient! Thanks both of you! Ian Westermann August 18, 2015 at 12:20 pm - Reply You bet, Markos. Ken August 18, 2015 at 10:40 am - Reply I like the presentation style, crisp and to the point. Well done. Ian Westermann August 18, 2015 at 12:20 pm - Reply Good to hear, Ken. Thanks! Noushin August 18, 2015 at 10:39 am - Reply Many thanks for sharing your invaluable experience and knowledge! Ian Westermann August 18, 2015 at 12:20 pm - Reply You're very welcome, Noushin. Lisa August 18, 2015 at 10:24 am - Reply I would like to know how to handle these "sitters" when they are even shorter than in the video. I look at the feeds he was getting as more of an approach shot than a sitter. Thanks, I tend to run through it or get so excited to put it away that I blow it! Ian Westermann August 18, 2015 at 12:20 pm - Reply That's a great question, Lisa. There are definitely many different "flavors" of the short ball. We'll add that one to our list of topics to cover in the future. dave August 18, 2015 at 10:20 am - Reply Could you please post something on returning the low, short, ball. That gives me a lot of trouble. Ian Westermann August 18, 2015 at 12:18 pm - Reply That's a tricky one, Dace. We'll add it to our list! Patrick August 18, 2015 at 10:15 am - Reply Man, this is hilarious. You talk just like Ian. And I love how Ian is smiling in the background 🙂 Thanks for the tips! Patrick from Switzerland Ian Westermann August 18, 2015 at 12:18 pm - Reply Haha, he does? As Ira gets a little more experience in front of the camera I know his personality will really start to shine through. Thanks for watching, Patrick. Bruce Wilson August 12, 2015 at 7:01 am - Reply elbow away from body, poised, approach – good points all. Thanks. Could you please cover the same shot for the backhand side (I use a one-handed backhand). Thanks! Ian Westermann August 18, 2015 at 12:16 pm - Reply We'll add it to our list, Bruce. Joe Thurkill August 20, 2015 at 3:29 am - Reply Thanks a bunch for this one, I can't count the number of times I have hit this shot long. I do just as Ira says most of us rec players do and the face of my racquet opens up and it flies long. Can't wait to try this technique as I usually tend to get real tentative on these type shots.