Ready to complete the picture for your tennis tactics so you’ll know EXACTLY what to do walking onto the court for all your matches?
Yesterday’s message gave you my dead simple “Foundational Strategies” for singles and doubles…
They’re the “Plan A” I recommend all tennis players use to start every match, definitely read them first if you haven’t already (I posted them right here).
Read them, print them, put them in your tennis bag and you’ll head into every match with a solid, winning plan instead of “winging it” like most of your peers do.
Start every match with that “Plan A” and stick with it for at least 3-4 games.
Pick the smart, high percentage, boring targets and go to them again and again while you watch how your opponent(s) respond like a hawk.
It would be easy to breeze past this but it’s critical to your success: study them, NOT you.
Most amateur tennis players are completely self absorbed during their matches. They’ll go a full two hours obsessing over:
- Trying to figure out why their backhand feels off…
- The new serve trick that worked well last match…
- Keeping their racquet head up on their volleys…
- Making sure their new outfit stays tidy…
- And ANYTHING else they’re worried or self conscious about!
Fall into that trap and you’ll completely miss the most important information related to winning the match at hand: the strengths, weaknesses, and patterns of your opponent!
This is why you should spend at least the first 3-4 game with a dead simple, pre-determined Plan A. So you can use all of your mental energy to study what’s happening on the other side of the court.
Is your ” Plan A” working? Are you ahead 3-1?
Keep executing until you win, or until your opponent(s) adjust enough to make it ineffective.
(most of the time when your “Plan A” works out of the gate you won’t need to adjust it at all….simply be disciplined enough to stick with it and you’ll win)
Is your “Plan A” not cutting it? Are you down 0-4?
That’s fine, remain calm. You’re probably one or two small pattern tweaks away from gaining control of the match…
The key is in studying your opponent(s) closely up until this point. How are they exploiting your simple, high percentage patterns? Which shot or shots have they used to gain the upper hand? OR, are you simply making too many errors to challenge them?
If you’re behind due to your own errors and your opponent hasn’t done a thing to really “earn” their lead then stick with your “Plan A”…..changing to lower percentage patterns is only going to make things worse!
On the other hand, if you’re truly getting out played then a simple tweak is in order. Your goal is to shift the patterns of play away from what they’re grooving on and force them to try and groove on something different instead.
There’s a million possibilities here so I’m not going to go into specifics…
But the most important thing is that you purposefully pick the top, most prevalent pattern that they’re using to beat you and take it away from them.
So, to review quickly, here is your checklist:
- Start each match with at least 3-4 games of your simple “Plan A”
- If you’re winning don’t change a thing!
- If you’re losing determine if its your errors or their great play
- If its your errors stick with “Plan A” and focus on executing better
- If its their great play then make a simple pattern change
What if you adjust your Plan A, gain the upper hand, and your opponents adjust right back?
Don’t get mad or frustrated…
Now you’re REALLY playing tennis!
At the highest levels of the game there’s a constant cat and mouse game going back and forth. Few players get to experience it because their level of awareness, intention, and control simply isn’t good enough.
Follow what you’ve learned in this quick series and you’ll be infinitely closer to achieving that level of play than you were before.
You’ll being playing chess instead of checkers in no time 🙂
Thanks for reading, I hope these messages have been super helpful. If so, hit “reply” and let me know.
Keep up the amazing work on your game. All of us here at ET are super proud of you.