HOFER TENNIS
TIP OF THE WEEK ARCHIVE
FOUNDATIONAL STATEGY

   There are several basic strategies that are use in all tennis play. Each
of these strategies must build on the next one. The ability to move from
one strategy to the next is based on one’s own skill level.
   1 Keep the ball in play. Simple as this is, it is often overlooked by even
more advanced players. The person who can keep sending the ball back
over the net and in the court is a tough player to beat. It’s been said
that, the person who can return the ball one more time than their
opponent will never lose. This is true but there is something more to it,
which brings us to the next level of singles strategy.
   2 Keep the ball deep. Hitting the balls deep into your opponent’s
backcourt will keep them from taking advantage of you. Deep shots create
fewer angles for your opponent to hit, making it more difficult to hit
winners or exploit your weaknesses. Hitting deep also forces your
opponent to hit harder or higher to stay out of trouble. Trouble in this
case is hitting balls into the net, out of play or a short ball that can be
exploited.
   3 Hit with power. After consistency and depth can be controlled, then
the use of power may take place. Hitting the ball harder gives your
opponent less time to react. It increases the chance for an error or a short
ball from whom you’re playing.
   4 Hit with placement. Again if we build on consistency (keep the ball in
play), depth  (keep the ball deep), and power, then we can move to
placement. Putting the ball into the corners to move your opponent
around again increases the chance of opponent errors. To be able to
place the ball in the court where you want to is a very satisfying level of
play and difficult to do. Even the advanced level player has difficulty
hitting consistently deep with power into the corners.
   Well there you have four tennis strategies in tennis for all levels of play.
They all sound so simple and easy to do but to put them all together point
after point take very hard work. Remember that these strategies are built
upon each other.  So there you have the basic building blocks of
successful tennis play.

Doug Hofer, USPTA                                       September 2, 2005
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