People refer to the space between the kitchen and the baseline as no man’s land.
It's definitely not a space we recommend you play from. It is, however, a spot that you're often forced to play from.
It's tough to go baseline-to-NVZ on anything less than a perfect drop. And even when you make it, it is common to be forced off the line from aggressive dinks and speedups.
Don't fret if your feet are planted in no man's land.
Zane Navratil's got tips to help you win from the transition zone:
- Drill: Get comfortable playing in transition. Take two steps off the line and rally back and forth with your partner.
- On your toes: When retreating, it is easy to get caught on your heels. Zane recommends staying up on the balls of your feet. This will not only help you move side to side, but also add power to your counterattacks.
- Decision making: Chances are they're aiming at your feet. If the ball is low, practice resetting into the kitchen. If it's high, waist-to-shoulder-height, practice smacking an attack back at your opponent.
Being comfortable in an uncomfortable position comes with experience.
Put more reps in while in no man's land to prolong rallies and win more points.