Whether you’re playing tennis competitively as an athlete or casually just because you enjoy the sport and the health benefits that come from it, you all have one thing in common – it’s nice to win a match when you’re playing someone else.
Even if it’s just purely a hobby, nobody likes losing all
the time! That’s why our camp directors and coaches at our New Jersey Tennis
Camps and all of our other locations bring the same passion to every camper
that joins us each summer. Regardless of their age and skill level, they’re all
coming because they’d like to improve their game in some way. It doesn’t matter
if that desire is just for fun or because a player has aspirations of playing
collegiately or even professionally.
We pride ourselves on having a low camper-to-coach ratio so
we can provide as much individualized attention as possible. That’s when
players see the most progress in their respective games – not when they’re
doing one general drill with 20 other players at the same time.
If your goal is to consistently win matches – or at least
win more matches than you lose over a certain period of time – you need a
number of skills to make it happen. So that means more than a great serve or
backhand stroke. Here are a handful of tips to keep in mind as you head into
your next match.
If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix it
When facing an opponent, you should quickly start to see
what they’re good at and what their potential weaknesses are on the tennis
court – especially if you’re paying attention to how they’re returning and
reacting to different shots. It may be boring to stick with one type of shot or
stroke over the course of a game or match, but if your opponent hasn’t been
able to show an ability to consistently defend it, then you should keep using
it. A key to winning a match is not just knowing what an opponent’s weaknesses
are, but to also know exactly how to attack it successfully.
Be Mindful of Game Patterns
Remember how we just said to keep attacking an opposing
player’s weakness if they can’t defend it? Well, the same goes for the opposite
way around, too. If they’re shooting a certain shot or placing the ball in a
certain area of the court that’s been giving you a really hard time, start to
expect that situation repeatedly when your back is against the wall.
Conversely, if you’re getting close to closing out a game, don’t try something
new – keep the same serve pattern going that’s helped you get to that point.
Look at Your Opponent’s Positioning
Every tennis player has certain preferences and a particular
comfort level when it comes to particular areas on the court and how they like
to strike a ball back in your direction. If they’re consistently moving a
certain way to defend some of your shots, don’t just sit back and continue the
volley in the same pattern. Get on the offensive and apply more pressure in
order to get them out of their own comfort zone.