Coaching Tip - January 2022

Improve your Tennis game by reducing your errors

Tennis is a game of errors:
• 85% of points in tennis are lost as a result of an error
• This means that only 15% of points are decided by winning shots

The errors in tennis are either:

Forced errors
• as a result of good shots by you or your opponent

Unforced errors - the source of most of the errors in tennis due to:
• poor shot selection
• faulty technique
• poor movement resulting in not being in the correct position when hitting the ball

Work with your Coach to help reduce your personal errors by playing to your strengths and improving your weaknesses.

Use the following suggestions during your training sessions to reduce your errors:
Use the space above the net
Hit the ball with more topspin to get more height over the net to stop the net getting in the way.
Aim to hit your shots to land about half a metre in side the lines
This will give you a greater margin of error and more balls will go into court.
When in trouble defend
When you are under pressure during a rally don't go for the winner but aim the shot high, deep and generally crosscourt to give you a chance to recover your position on court.
Hit the ball back in the same direction
During a rally play safe by hitting the ball back in the same direction and only change the direction when you have time to get into good position to control the ball.
Preparation is the key
Good footwork and preparation are the key to getting into the correct position. This will help you reduce errors and improve your consistency.

When you have improved your game so that you can hit the ball over the net consistently and have reduced your unforced errors you can develop a plan to force your opponent into making errors.

During your training sessions develop your game plan:
Hit into the open court
Rally the ball from side to side to make your opponent run forcing him/her to hit the ball under pressure. This will tire your opponent and hopefully result in a number of short balls which you can then hit into the open court for a winner.
Wrong foot your opponent
Your opponent will start to over anticipate your side to side shots moving very early to the other side of the court so that you will be able to hit the ball back to the same side or behind them.
Use the angles to open up the court
Learn to hit the ball so that it lands in the service box but is angled so that it crosses the sideline moving your opponent wide off the court leaving the court open for the easy put away.
Vary the spin and pace of your shots
When rallying the ball don't let your opponent get into a rhythm use topspin and slice to allow you to vary the pace of the ball as well as the bounce of the ball at the other end of the court. This will also allow you to vary the length and width on your shots.
The high loopy ball to your opponent's backhand for example is a great shot as it will on most occasions allow you to put away the short ball or hit a short ball as a follow up.

When preparing for a Club match or tournament you should if possible watch your next opponent play in a match or at training so that you get an idea of how he/she plays and see if you can determine any weaknesses.

The key to improving your game is to reduce your errors and use your strengths to exploit your opponents weaknesses.

Enjoy playing tennis, the game of a lifetime.

Please direct any comments to:
Steve James
HEAD coach