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Brushing Up Your Overhead Swing

April 14th, 2015 by Do It Tennis

filed in Tennis How To, How To Hit An Overhead

For many tennis players, the overhead is the most dreaded shot of them all. Check out these tips to help you brush up on your overhead techniques and avoid the slight embarrassment of a failed overhead in the middle of a match. Are any of these steps missing from your current overhead swing motion?

How to hit an overhead

To get start the position, you must be stepping backward and your feet must be positioned sideways. A good way to visualize it is keeping your toes towards the fence. You may even have to backpedal to get into position. Remember, it is harder to back up to the ball than it is to move up to the ball so if you end up backpedaling too far, you can always move forward if needed. You want the tennis ball to remain in front of you the whole time, so don’t let it get behind you. Otherwise you won’t be able to hit the tennis ball at the angle that will really help you smash it. 

As the ball is coming down, it is best to get your tennis racquet up early. You can also get one arm up – the non-dominant hand – pointing to the tennis ball while it’s on the way up.

Your next position in the proper overhead technique will look a lot like a serve. Essentially, you’ll want to scratch your back with your racquet way before the tennis ball is near you.

You want your bodyweight to be shifting forward once you’re close to contacting the ball. Then, straighten out your wrist and elbow when your tennis racquet contacts the ball. Similar to a serve, this motion ends with a follow through.


With the explanation above, you can see the steps illustrated below.

Tennis Overhead Swing steps

Photo:busy-tennis-players.com

The important tips to remember:

  • Make sure you are completely sideways.
  • Left arm should be all the way up (for a right-handed swing).
  • Tennis racquet back and prepared right away.
  • Make the point of contact as high as you can over your head.
  • Pretend you are snapping your wrist, as if it is going over a pull up bar. That way your arm remains high and level.
  • Follow through to the other side of the body.

  • Let us know if you have any questions or comments either in the comments or on any of our social profiles! We’d love to hear the specific challenges you have with your overhead shot, and any additional tips that help you.