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.
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.
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.
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.