Bring Back the Sky Hook

You’re at the net and your opponent lifts a pretty good lob over your head. What do you do?

Well, there are some senior doubles players who immediately yell, “YOURS!” and cross to the other side! That is sometimes the correct thing to do– if your partner was serving and you are being the aggressive net man.

But let’s say that the ball is yours (or you are playing singles, where EVERY ball is yours). What you do NOT want to do is to start backpedaling with your shoulders square to the net.

If you are going back for an overhead – even one that you will be taking in the air – the teaching pros say you should immediately turn your shoulders perpendicular to the net and side step backwards. When you catch up with it (if you can), the best thing would be then to scissor kick and hit an overhead.

But if you don’t have time for the “right shot,” don’t forget the old “sky hook,” made famous by Jimmy Connors. On those tough-to-reach overheads, Jimbo would hit an overhead with a stiff arm (almost in a grenade-throwing motion). It was economical and effective.

How about you and your overheads? Comment below.

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One thought on “Bring Back the Sky Hook

  1. George, I play doubles a lot with a friend from my club who, although not technically having the prettiest or most conventional of strokes, is nevertheless a strong 4.5 player. He is very athletic and quick to boot. The one thing that I like maybe the best about his game is he regularly uses the old Jimmy Connors sky hook to reach up and hit overheads from lobs that otherwise appear like they should be winners over his head. It is great playing doubles with a guy who can hit this shot effectively because it means that, unless a lob is more in my wheelhouse, I am reasonably confident that my partner will still be able to reach it and at least keep us in the point, if not hit a winner. In short, I agree that the sky hook is an effective but underutilized shot and you have now just convinced me that I should go out and practice it myself.

    Marty – Nice to have a partner you can say “Yours” to! george

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