Hit the center. Hit the center. Hit the center.
So important it is that I say it three times, if needed, so that you will always remember.
If while defending, you can hit the ball comfortably, near the middle of your own court, in what direction is best to play the ball? Play it through the middle of your opponents.
If while defending, you have a chance to hit the ball comfortably, after bouncing on the wall, where do you play your next ball? Play it through the middle of you opponents.
If while defending, you have a chance to hit the ball comfortably, after bouncing on the wall –or without wall play-, near one of the sides of your own side, where do you play your next ball? Play it crossed, through the middle of you opponents.
At this point you are probably wondering why. There are two important reasons:
- The middle is for most teams, as they are attacking, a difficult area of the court to cover. Many teams doubt as to who should volley a ball that is played through the middle. Thus, many balls will go through, while your opponents will stare at each other thinking “That was your ball! Why did you not volley it?”.
- Avoid playing the ball in the direction of the short angles of your opponent’s court as much as possible. Why? As you play the ball towards a short angle, you give a chance to your opponents to easily play the balls towards your own short angles. As they do that, the ball will hit the mesh on your side of the court, creating unpredictable bounces and opening your defense. As that happens, your opponents are most likely to score.
Tip of today: Play the ball through the middle of your opponents, as much as possible. Watch below this great video where you can see clearly a play build upon playing through the center of the court. Hit the Center!