Hitting a Lob

The lob shot is a difficult shot to master and becomes even more difficult in outdoor play because you have to judge the wind. A lob hit from the baseline has to be hit so precisely for it to be effective that it is almost not worth trying.  If your opponent has hit you a very difficult, deep return, you might throw up a lob as a sort of “hail Mary” play, but it’s rarely effective against good, physically quick players.  If the lob is perfect–meaning it forces your opponents back to the baseline–you and your partner should race to the kitchen line and thus claim the offensive position on the court.  If it is not a “well-hit” lob, you must ready yourself to play defense.

Obviously, different teams handle lobs more or less effectively depending on their physicality.  Your opponents’ physical strength is a factor as the pace of their overheads will vary accordingly. If you do lob, you should be aiming for one of your opponents’ backhands–ensuring a weaker overhead return if you fall short.

The lob can be highly effective if executed correctly and especially successful if the opposing team doesn’t communicate and move well.  Throwing up lobs can change the momentum of a game and can be used to tire out opponents.  But the likelihood of executing the shot as accurately as it needs to be is low.  Therefore, in my opinion, it is not the best choice for the third shot.