Problem: It's the beginning of a new year and you are looking to improve your tennis game. You've had lessons and learned both offensive and defensive styles of play. However, when you get in the "heat of the battle" you return to your old safe and secure style (typically remaining a baseliner - lob type player). However, this year you want that to change.
Solution: When you are playing practice (social-type) matches or social league matches start trying to reverse the trend of becoming a baseliner.
Some strategies to consider:
- Follow every serve return to the net to volley.
- Play server and volley on every first serve and occasionally on your second server.
- Follow all successful lobs to the net to gain the offense (whether the lob is hit by you or your partner).
Don't fall into the trap of staying back and hoping your opponents will make an error. Be more agressive by coming in to the net to force your opponents to make errors. Control your own destiny this way. Stop standing around waiting for your opponents to lose. Move in and force them to lose. Whenever you are playing a "critical point" always imagine that your opponents are more nervous than you are. Put the pressure on them.
By following these steps in social situations, you will find yourself more willing to try them in pressure filled tournament situations. Also, by being more agressive, you will become a more well-rounded player plus you will derive great pleasure from this style.