You've heard the expression "play smarter not harder"
but do you think you are putting those words into play? One
way to think your way to better tennis is to have a game plan
that fits your capabilities and score. Many times we admire
players that hit big shots but you may not realize that these
shots might have been set up through a smart game plan -- a
game plan they developed before the point began.
Playing good tennis requires a sound game plan as well
as good mechanics. Your game plan is your map and although
there may be detours, the overall objective is to get you to a
certain place. One of the common faults I find with many
students is a lack of any type of game plan. A bad game plan
is better than none at all! A great example is serving at
30-40 in doubles. A good plan might be to kick in a serve deep
to the backhand and charge the net. Suppose you don't think
about the score and you just go for the big flat first serve.
The payoff with this serve could be huge with a service winner
or even an ace. But remember the score is 30-40 and you are
one point away from having your service broken. Being forced
into hitting a second serve on such a big point could be
disastrous against an aggressive returner. That is when you
have to consider if it is worth taking the chance. You have to
think about your weapons, limitations, and those of your
opponent. You also have to think of the importance of the
score to formulate a good plan for the upcoming point.
The next time you play a practice match try to
visualize exactly what you want to happen before each point.
Consider the score and what your options are for that point.
You'll be surprised at how many things you can think about
that will have an impact on the outcome. You'll love it when
you successfully execute your plan and when you do you'll be
thinking your way to better tennis.