The Overhead

Chris Lewit

A great overhead is the lynchpin of a great attacking game.

I often tell my students that a great overhead is essential to developing a world-class attacking game. Why? Because any high level player worth his salt will neutralize the attacking rival with a high lob and test his or here overhead smash.

Unfortunately, the overhead is usually under practiced. In this article, I will share my philosophy on the overhead and some key technical details. Next time John and I film I will add some of my favorite overhead drills.

The Lynchpin

While overheads are not hit as frequently as groundstrokes or serves, smashes often come at critical junctures in the match, raising their importance. In addition, if building a complete all-court game is a goal, the overhead is the lynchpin, the glue that holds the all-court game together.

A player's success at the net is only as strong as its weakest link. In this case, that is often the overhead because it is practiced poorly and infrequently. It's common for players to spend a lot of time on their volley skills but neglect the smash, although some players don't spend any time on their net skills at all.

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Chris Lewit, former #1 for Cornell and Pro Circuit player, has coached numerous top 10 nationally ranked juniors and is a leading coach, educator, and author. He has written two best-selling books, The Secrets of Spanish Tennis and The Tennis Technique Bible.

Chris runs a popular high performance summer tennis camp in the beautiful mountains of Vermont and coaches players world-wide through his virtual school, CLTA Online (

Chris also produces a weekly high performance tennis video talk show and podcast, The Prodigy Maker Show, which is available on Apple Podcasts and all other podcasting directories. All shows can be accessed at

Check out Chris's blog, also at for free articles on high performance junior development and Spanish training. Learn about his camp at or visit the online academy at

The Secrets of Spanish Tennis

What makes Spanish tennis so unique and successful? What exactly are those Spanish coaches doing so differently to develop superstars like Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer that other systems are not doing? These and other questions are answered in The Secrets of Spanish Tennis, the culmination of five years of study on the Spanish way of training by USTA High Performance Coach Chris Lewit.

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