Jan 252011
 
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First, I need to debunk a myth about playing ceiling shots. This myth says that ceiling balls are only defensive shots to move your opponent into the back of the court.

First, I prefer to think of using ceiling balls to move me into an offensive position in center court.  Second, in any given game, I will probably win 1 or 2 points outright with a tight, steeply dropping, ceiling ball into a back corner. Third, my opponent will probably skip 2 or 3 return shots from my back court ceiling balls.

So ceiling balls are attacking defensive shots which will put you in offensive position. At minimum, a good ceiling game can win you 3 to 5 points per game.

And good technique helps as well. Remember to use your biggest muscles, which means using your hips and shoulders as the engines to power the shot. Your wrist is mostly locked. Your arm contributes about 20% to the swing, while the remaining 80% is hip and shoulder turn.

And one more tip — don’t hit your ceiling ball too hard. Hit it just hard enough to reach the back wall crack on the second bounce.

How do you improve your ceiling game? In one word, practice!

  • Before every match, warm up with ceiling balls
  • Practice hitting 15 minutes of ceiling balls alone on the court each week
  • Warm up with a partner by playing a ceiling ball game to 11  (only lob serves and ceiling balls allowed)

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