Let’s start with the definition of a tennis passing shot:
A shot in tennis that passes an opponent who has approached the net.
Dreaming of Spectacular Tennis Passing Shots
What comes to my mind when I think of a passing shot? One player hits a hard deep ball or huge serve and runs to the net, and the other player hits a great shot in response past him down-the-line or cross-court for a winner. This kind of thinking though will cause most players to lose a lot of points due to missed passing shots. Most players that rush the net do not have great volleys, but a lot of the time they do not even have to volley the ball to win the point. The other player just keeps missing passing shots throughout the match due to going so big that the percentages have the net rusher winning the match without having to hit that many balls. The problem becomes obvious once I explain it to you.
Typical Passing Shot Scenario in Tennis
Typically a player will approach the net due to a short ball being hit by the other player, so they will attack the short ball by hitting it in a location that the other player cannot handle well. The key here is that the player hitting the approach is on the offense and hits the ball in a way that is not easy to return aggressively without taking huge risks. To hit a passing shot off of this aggressive approach shot is very high risk, so I do not recommend passing off the approach shot unless it is a weak one.
Better Tennis Passing Shot Tactics
There are lots of options for a great passing shot which include hitting a lob, cross-court, down-the-line, right at the opponent, or short top-spin to the feet of your opponent. One of our favorite tennis training tips is to test the volley of your opponent before trying to go for a shot that is high risk. It might turn out that you opponent cannot volley very well or cannot hit certain types of volleys. I recommend that you determine his skill set during warmup, but somehow you need to determine where your opponent is weak and make them volley from low, hit overheads, or whatever you find is their weakness.
Passing Shots Against A Strong Net Player
OK, I understand that some players are going to have fairly good volleys. In that case, I still recommend hitting the ball back in a high percentage fashion.
You should not be missing a bunch of passing shots off the approach unless your opponent has a monster serve or approach shot, but you are in trouble if that is the case anyway. Right? Try to hit a low ball back to their feet off of the their approach if possible and let them volley up from their shoe laces. The ball they hit now from down by their feet will not be anything like the one that they charged in behind. This ball will be hit from below the net, so it will not be high pace and the volleyer will be most likely just trying to get it in the court. This is the ball that you want hit by them at the net. Just take your time, pick your shot, and hit it by the player that is standing at the net hoping you miss.
Use Two Shot Combination To Pass Net Rushers
First Shot : Off your opponents approach shot, hit a high percentage shot back into the court preferably to a place that you know your opponent is weaker.
Second Shot: At this point, your opponent hopefully hit a weak volley allowing you to pass a lot easier.
Now You Know How To Hit Passing Shots
Keep this tennis training in mind when you hit a passing shot, and you will put a whole lot more pressure on the net rusher or serve and volley player. Remember, a good tennis passing shot needs to be in the court, right? Once you relax, and use the two shot combination to pass your opponent a few time; it is likely that they will back off and quit coming into the net as often. At that point, you now are controlling the outcome of the match instead of swinging away hoping your ultra high risk passing shots will start going into the court.