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Is it the Overhead - Or
The In Front of Head?

Jeremiah Walsh

Printable Version

The "overhead" should be called the "in front of head."

In my view the overhead isn't really an "overhead." It shouldn't be called that. That word doesn't describe the key factor in hitting the shot well.

An overhead is really an "in front of head." The critical moment is the contact. The contact is not over your head. It needs to be in front of your head.

The key to keeping the contact in front of your head is footwork. It's learning how to move, how to stay behind the ball, and how to use your feet and legs depending on the type of overhead.

It's learning what to do when you have to come forward, when you have to move back, and also, when you have to move around the ball so you can hit an overhead from the backhand side.

Mechanics on the swing on the overhead are important. But in this article I am focusing on the footwork. This is the critical factor in creating contact in front of the head.

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Jeremiah Walsh has been director of tennis at Sun Oaks Tennis and Fitness Club in Redding, California since 2009, the club where he grew up playing. He is also director of The Ascension Project, a unique, non-profit junior development program based at Sun Oaks which focuses on junior tournament competition as a team sport.

Before returning to Sun Oaks, Jeremiah had a distinguished career in college coaching as a head coach at Virginia Military Institute, the University of Northern Colorado, and Southern Oregon University where his women's team set a new school record for single season winning percentage. He is an avid outdoorsman, sportsman, and game hunter who makes delicious venison and bear sausage, as testified to by the Tennisplayer editorial staff.

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