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Bad Day?
By:  Scott Baker | Tennis4you  | Tennis Forum  | E-mail

I had to come to a conclusion recently as I have been playing much less tennis than I used to. When I use to play 3 or more hours per day 7 days a week I always seemed to play pretty well. I never really had an off day with my game. Some days were better than others, but I was a pretty steady player day in and day out. Well, eight years later and a lot more responsibility on my shoulders, I play twice a week if I am lucky. Now I have good days and I can have some bad days. My consistency of being a good player every time I step on the court is long gone. So here is the conclusion I came up with that I would like to share with you. When you are having a bad day and you are missing your shots and you just are not making the shots you know you can, keep it simple and stick to the basics!

Remember this, if you are struggling to hit the regular shots in the court you must find a way to restrain yourself for going for the fancy shots and aiming for the corners. There is no need to go for those fancy drop volleys or try to rip the winner from 6 feet behind the baseline when you are not playing well. If you are struggling with your game than your fancy shots will most likely to get you into deeper trouble. Instead, play it safe, play the percentages and force your opponent to beat you, do not beat yourself.

Allow me to offer an example. I was playing doubles recently and I was not hitting the crisp volleys and returns the way I wanted to. As a matter of fact I was missing just about everything. For some dumb reason I went for some super spicy volleys and returns. Needless to say, I either hit my shots out or popped it up for our opponents to cram down our throats. I stepped back and realized that I just needed to keep it simple. So from that point on I tried no fancy volleys and no killer ground strokes. Instead I just tried to keep my volleys deep and made sure to keep my ground strokes low and away from the net man. By keeping it simple I was able to play better tennis with less errors. No rockets down the line, no superman overheads, just smart basic tennis. I still was not playing great, but I was able to focus on basic tennis and we ended up winning the match without playing our best tennis.

You may even find that keeping it simple will boost your confidence and help you find your "A" game before the end of the match and you can start playing more like you want to. So next time you find your game down in the dumps, try focusing on percentage tennis. Play smart not big! Make your opponent work for the points, the last thing you want to do is to go big and miss every shot. Basically, keep it simple!

Good Luck on the Court!
Scott Baker
Tennis4you.com