Coaching Tip - June 2011

    Combine your attacking and defensive skills so that you can take your tennis game to the next level

    Winning against tough opponents is often decided by just a few points.
    Tennis players often have one of these skills but in order to win close matches consistently you will need to develop good skills in both attacking and defending.

    Attacking Skills

    • Players should learn to be aggressive with both backhand and forehand ground strokes

    Do not just attack with your strongest (usually the forehand) stroke because that would limit your opportunities

    • Take advantage of your opponent’s weak or short (badly placed) returns

    Step in and hit your shot hard into the open court

    • Approach the net to put pressure on your opponent

    This will sometimes force your opponent to go for too much with their passing shot often leading to errors
    or allowing you to volley or hit into the open court

    • Use angle shots to take your opponent off court

    The court is then open for your next shot to finish off the rally or keep your opponent on the run

    • Stand in when your opponent has a weak second serve

    You can then get the ball back into a difficult position giving your opponent less time to react

    • Winning points and games consistently will put pressure on your opponent by attacking on the scoreboard

  • Defensive Skills

    • Good placement with your shots is the first step to good defence

    Your return should help you firstly stay in the point and then allow you to attack when the opportunity arises

    • Running hard to get every ball back into play

    Your opponent will then have to try to hit better (harder) strokes to win the point often leading to errors

    • When taken out wide during a baseline rally

    Hit the ball high and deep giving you time to get back onto the court and therefore continue with the rally

    • Against an opponent with a big serve

    Block the return back (similar to a volley) using the pace of the serve to the backhand side if possible

    • When you are losing during a match try to stay out there as long as possible

    Keep the ball in play at all costs so that you can return the pressure back onto your opponent

    • Every point you win will help you convert to games won so that the scoreboard pressure can be

    exerted on your opponent

    Develop your Attacking and Defensive skills during your coaching and training sessions so that these skills become a part of your game during matches and/or tournaments.

    I hope that you are able to use these skills so that you can enjoy your matches and play to your ability so that you can get the results that you deserve.

    Tennis the game of a lifetime

    Contact me by Email if you have any comments or helpful hints in regard to keeping tennis simple.

    Let me know the things that work for you.

    Coach Steve