What is Your Strategy?
Scott Baker | Tennis4you
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armies there are those who abandon their defenses, abolish
their awesomeness, and are yet victorious because they have
There are those who have established the use of their weapons,
their response to the enemy is all-encompassing, and their general
leadership is perfected." Wei Liao-tzu, 400 BCE.
Do you have a strategy when you play tennis? More importantly,
do you employ that strategy with every ball you hit on the tennis
court? Having a purpose for each shot and patiently building
towards a goal is what makes good tennis players. In the game
of tennis you need to construct each point with an overall purpose.
Hitting the ball with out a strategy is simply just hitting the
ball over the net. For some players, this is their idea of
a strategy, they run each ball down and hit it back and wait for
their opponent to make a mistake. This is not necessarily
a bad strategy up to a certain level of play. However, having
a more defined strategy will help you develop your game further
and make you a better player in the end.
You need to have a plan when you step onto the court. Once
you have seen your opponent's strengths and weaknesses you can fine-tune
your game plan to be the more effective. There are a few strategies
to choose from such as Serve and Volley, Baseliners, Counter Puncher
and more. Do you have a strategy, or do you let you opponent's
style of play dictate your style of play? It is better to
have your own strategy rather than let your opponent's type of play
push you around.
During play each ball that you hit should be building you towards
a bigger goal. If your goal is to get to the net or to keep
your opponent away from the net, each ball you hit should be strategically
hit to coincide with your plan. The most important aspect
of the formula is patience. Not every ball you hit will result
in what you would like to accomplish (If it did we would be playing
on the professional tour). You must use your strategy to patiently
construct the point and work your opponent into a position that
will optimize your chances of employing your particular strategy.
If you try to skip a step in the process and try to hit a
winner too soon it can spell disaster.
"Constructing points" does not just refer to those who are in control
of the point. If you are on the defensive end of the point
you are still constructing the point with the shots that you hit.
You need to use your strategy and adjust it to a defensive
mode to be effective. Many of us abandon our strategies when we
are on the defensive end of the point. A lot of times we just
go for a winner when we are in less than desirable positions, usually
missing. No matter what position you are in, and what type
of situation, you need to stick to your plan, be patient and have
a reason for each shot.
If you do not have a strategy that will help you construct points
you need to look within yourself and find one. What are your
strengths? What are your weaknesses? How do you think
you can be most effective? What tools do you have that will
help you construct points to favor your strengths? Strategies
can completely change depending on who you are playing. Find
a strategy that works for you, develop it over time, and see where
it can take you, you might be surprised!
Good Luck on the Court!