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Tennis Tips - Groundstrokes
Photo by Arno Dimmling

Repetition - The Key to Mastery
The top pros can consistently get great results because they are capable of repeating basic, solid shots set after set. It's no accident that they can do this; it's the result of hours of drilling certain patterns using targets at an early age. Because they are sure they own these shots, they don't often break down under the pressure of match play. They can execute the right shot at the right time, because they've practiced this way. Accuracy in practice means consistency in tournaments. Additionally, they've done the physical work to make sure their strength doesn't fail under duress.

It always amazes us that some juniors just don't get it. When we comment on their uncontrolled shot-making in practice matches, they say, "I don't play this way in tournaments." It's as if they hope somehow they'll be able to hit screaming winners at will, though their ratio is not even close to 50% under no pressure. Practicing to hit at a solid pace with no mistake yields confident, strong play in clutch situations. Dead ball drills with targets, fed well with varying heights, spins and depth improves shot selection, as does consistent live ball hitting with a partner. The disciplined players, who try to repeat stroking patterns to specific targeted spots, are much more likely to be in the finals of important tournaments. And the other kids are coughing up excuses as to why their results are lagging behind.

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