A common problem for many beginner tennis players is that they have a tendency to get caught in no man’s land. When this happens you find yourself out of position and have many balls landing at your feet that you can’t do a whole lot with.
The main problem in no man’s land is that people aren’t sure whether they should go into the net or recover back to the baseline. Since they aren’t sure what to do, they tend to stay put and are then caught out of position. In this case, the ball will often land at your feet, making for a very difficult shot. Other times when your opponent hits a deep ball, you try to move back to it and find yourself hitting off of your back foot.
Imagine that there is an imaginary line dividing no man’s land in half longways. When you find yourself behind this imaginary line, your best bet is probably to recover back to the baseline after your shot. When you find yourself fully in front of the imaginary line, then your best bet is to continue moving forward up to the net. This is a pretty basic and general rule, but it’s simple and easy to remember, especially for more beginner players.
Some players much prefer the net, while others find themselves more comfortable back at the baseline. You regularly want to play to your strengths, so step one is realizing what your strengths are and where you’re most comfortable on the court. While higher level doubles are played much more often up at the net, it’s perfectly acceptable for the beginner or intermediate player to hang back at the baseline if that’s where their most comfortable.
Whether you’re at the net or baseline, remember to play to your strengths and do your very best not to get caught in no man’s land. Learn more tennis tips here.