Coach Samson Dubina US National Team Coach 4x USATT Coach of the Year

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Beat the Lobber

Learn 8 elements to beating this opponent

Many people think that lobs are easy to deal with.  Actually, lobbers can be very difficult opponents.  I have several tips for you about how to play against lobbers…
#1 Be Serious
Before beginning any match, be serious and be focused on your strategy.  Don’t start off the match against a lobber without your full focus.
#2 Adjust Your Body
Based on the type of spin that the lobber gives, be ready to adjust your body into position based on the direction the ball will curve, especially for sidespin lobs.  If the ball is lobbed up with backspin, move closer to the table.  If the ball is lobbed up with heavy topspin, move back slightly, stay on your toes, and lean forward as you contact the ball.
#3 Adjust Your Stroke
Based on the type of spin and the height of the ball, be ready to adjust your racket angle and stroke.
#4 Use Spin
Using spin on your smash might make is 10% slower, but it will give you 50% more control.  A powerful smash is only effective if it is consistent.
#5 Work the Point In and Out
If the lobber can return many balls, be ready to move him in and out.  If he lobs near the net, be ready to give a short (double bouncing) drop shot.  If he has a good attack as well, then use the drop shot sparingly.
#6 Finish
Be ready to finish the point when it is appropriate.  If the lobber lobs deep near your endline, your smash should be more back to forward.  If the lobber lobs closer to the net, then you can hit a finishing forehand by smashing down, causing the ball to bounce over the lobbers head.
#7 Be Patient
A good lobber will be able to return many balls, so you should expect long rallies.  Be willing to work the point 10-15 hits in order to win a point.
#8 Take Your Time
By the 5th game, you will be very very tired.  So, from the beginning of the match, you should take your time between points, realizing that you will probably get tired throughout the match.  During the point, give 100% don’t slack off.  But take your time BETWEEN points and catch your breath.