Tennis Tactic – Tennis Passing Shot

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.

Tennis Tips for Passing Shots

Tennis Tips for Passing Shots
Photo by Charlie Cowins

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.

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10 Responses to Tennis Tactic – Tennis Passing Shot

  1. Heather April 8, 2014 at 4:42 am #

    I was also looking for information on the tennis passing shot when I came across your site. I am so glad I found it cause I have learned a lot from you. I can see why passing too quickly and frantically is definitely a down-fall.

    • David Evans April 10, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

      Heather, Thanks for the positive feedback about my tennis passing shot tip. Hope it helps you win a few extra point during your next match!

  2. Merri August 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Great article and so true. I thought I was all that and used to rush the net. Boy did I learn my lesson the hard way. LOL

    • David Evans August 9, 2012 at 8:24 am #

      Hi Merri, Glad to hear that you like my tennis tips about when to rush the net in doubles. Sounds like you had it figured out already, so you are on your way to winning a lot more doubles matches in the future. Have a great day, David

  3. Ana July 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    My coach (ex-coach) used to tell me to always pass off the initial approach shot. Need I remind you these were not weak shots. It made me so mad. He really shouldn’t have been coaching tennis. I finally left him and found me a new one.

    • David Evans July 15, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

      Hi Ana, glad to see that you have a questioning attitude. There are lots of tactics that will work well, and mine are just a composite of my own experience of playing tournaments and being coached by other over the years. Other coaches will have different opinions. So, sometimes it is good to get a second opinion like you have to make sure your coach is teaching you in a way to works for you. Sometimes certain tactics work for one player and not another due to various factors unrelated to what was intended. So, if something that you learn on my site is not work for you, be sure to let me know because it could be something as simple as a typo or interpretation. Be sure to let me know how things are going especially if you are having problems with any of my tips because I want to help you improve your tennis game. Thanks for sharing, and I hope your new coach works out well for you.
      Thanks again, David Evans

  4. Lexi July 12, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    I would have to say that your dream passing shot is definitely my dream passing shot. LOL It seems I don’t do well with these, but my coach is a dear and is helping me a lot. Actually he is the one that sent me here. 🙂

    • David Evans July 15, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

      Lexi, Most people including myself tend to want to take a big swing at the approach shot and try to pass too quickly. Once I got it in my mind to use the tactics in the post against the net rusher, I have had a lot better results for sure. Let me know how it goes against the net rushers using these tactics. Thanks for the feedback, David Evans.

  5. Amanda July 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Love the post.. It is full of information.. I was wondering about the Two-Shot combo, found out what I needed to know. You explain things so easily. 🙂

    • David Evans July 9, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

      I am glad that you found the information useful. Not a lot of players use a Two-Shot Combo for tennis passing shots. They just take one big swing and hit or miss the pass. 🙂
      Let me know if there is anything else that I can help you with concerning tennis strategies and tactics.
      Thanks, David

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