You’re going to want to print out today and tomorrow’s emails…
They’re going to give you a simple yet effective plan to follow for both singles and doubles so you can walk onto the court confidently for every single match.
What you’re about to learn is the antidote for the most common, yet least effective strategies in amateur tennis: “hit it where they’re not” and “hit it to their weakness”.
On the surface they both seem good enough….but without taking into account the geometry of the court more experienced opponents will exploit your poor patterns.
Let’s get to it!
First and foremost, its critical that you have a fundamentally sound “Plan A” going into every single match…
That means you already know your strategy BEFORE the warm up, or even getting into the car to head to the courts for that matter.
A lot of players think they need some kind of elaborate plan based on every nuance of their opponent’s game, and that’s just not true.
Remember – tennis is a game of error management, especially at the amateur level.
A dead simple “Plan A” that follows winning patterns of play will win the majority of the time (tomorrow’s email will cover what to do if that’s not enough).
We have coaching courses with hundreds of videos each covering all the nooks and crannies of singles and doubles strategy….but what you’re about to learn is the fundamental framework for all of it.
Here’s what I like to call the “Foundational Strategy” for both singles and doubles:
- “Singles Plan A” – From the baseline, cross court is an easier and higher percentage target than down the line.Down the line absolutely CAN be the right shot selection, but you should only target that direction when you have a good reason to, or multiple “good reasons” stack up to reward you for making the more difficult shot.
Remember, if you DO pull the trigger give yourself lots of margin for error. Don’t fall for the sucker play of aiming anywhere close to the lines.
When you’re at the net – keep the ball in front of you any time you’re off balance or in trouble, and only hit cross court when you have the upper hand with a good opportunity to finish the point.
That’s it. Simple. Doubles is a little more complex…
- “Doubles Plan A” – In the majority of doubles points you have the choice of aiming towards a closer player or a player further away from you…Sometimes its really obvious and clean cut, like when you’re returning serve. Other times your opponents will be closer to the same distance from the net, but usually its pretty clear who’s in a more offensive position and who’s in a more defensive one.
Paying close attention to that and choosing your target based on your phase of play is the key to smart, winning doubles.
When you’re back at the baseline your primary goal is to avoid the more offensive opponent (the one closer to the net) at all costs….the only exception is when you have a clear opportunity to attack with a groundstroke.
If you’re at the net and have an offensive shot (high contact point, ability to hit down) aim TOWARDS the closer player the vast majority of the time. Attacking towards the opponent who’s further away will result in resetting the point.
When you’re at the net and in a defensive situation (low contact point or stretched out) keep it AWAY from the closer player at all costs.
Finally, if you have a neutral ball (not clearly offensive or defensive) it’s your choice, but if you’re not confident in hitting something to make the close opponent uncomfortable your default should be going back towards the deeper one.
Follow these fundamental guidelines and I promise you’ll see more success on the court if you’ve been “winging it” every time you step onto the court (like most players do).
Please note – these are basically “best practices”, and when it comes to tennis strategy every rule was made to be broken!
The key is knowing when and why to make tactical changes away from your “Plan A” which is exactly what tomorrow’s email will be about (Part 2).
Keep an eye out for that, and in the meantime shoot me a quick reply and let me know what you thought of this first segment.
Thanks for reading and have an amazing weekend.