Tennis Tips - Fitness & Mental Toughness

I always tell my students, “tactics is about making your opponent miserable.” I like to give my players simple, easy-to-remember plans for matches. When nerves try to take over, it’s important to be able to focus on the present. Thinking about what makes your opponent uncomfortable instead of worrying about your own problems makes you concentrate on the correct issues; for example - does he/she have a favored height at which to strike the ball? Don’t give them any pleasure…slice lower, topspin higher, give them whatever they DON’T like.

Think about their grip - if it’s Western, then they probably won’t love a low, wide slice serve on the deuce side. Give them that serve. Do they like to run around their backhand? Don’t send any high balls to that side - slice low, then send them running to the other side.

Do they like to run side-to-side at the baseline? Hit some drop shots and angles draw them to the net, where they may not like to be. Are they hard hitters who enjoy using your pace? Mix it up and slow things down, sending some higher, heavy spin balls. When they start moaning that they can’t get any rhythm from you, or call you a pusher, you know you have them. You have made you opponent miserable - the simplest tactic to remember!



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