A lob is a high-lofted shot that travels deep toward the opposing player’s baseline (the line furthest from the net). The lob is used on defense, to push an attacking player away from the net position, or on offense, as a way to get the ball past the net player to win the point. The overhead or ‘overhead smash’ is a shot a player can hit in response to a lob by reaching up and hitting the ball high in the air before it has bounced, or after it has bounced up high in the air. The technique used to hit an overhead is similar to that of the serve. A well-executed overhead is usually a point-ending shot.
A lob is hit by using a long, low-to-high stroke which causes the ball to travel high in the air and land deep on the opponent’s side of the court. Lobs can be hit with very little spin, but usually are hit with some back spin or slice for control. An offensive lob, one meant to travel over an opponent and result in a point-winning shot, is sometimes hit with topspin.
A topspin lob is hit with the same technique as a high topspin forehand, but with a higher trajectory over the net. To hit this shot, you must first perfect the topspin forehand technique. Then, practice hitting topspin forehands progressively higher over the net, using topspin to insure the ball lands inside the court near the opponent’s baseline, until the resulting shot is a ball that travels just high enough over the outstretched racquet of your opponent and drops into the court.