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LEGO Approach

As a child, I was fascinated with LEGO building blocks. I loved how combining pieces of different shapes and sizes could be used to construct elaborate projects. I believe that the same concept could be used in understanding and improving one's tennis game. As a player, it is important to figure out how to combine the weapons in your arsenal to the maximum effect. Be it serve-and-volleys, chip-and-charges, forehand cross-court (topspin) followed up by backhand cross-court (slice), or swinging volley (FH or BH) followed up by "regular" volley (BH or FH), a player should know how to create the best "plays" with his/her shots.

Often times, it is impossible for a player to construct a complete point from beginning to end as it's the opponent's primary obligation to put up obstacles and defenses ("you're only as good as your opponent allows you to be"). However, by mastering 2-3 shot combinations a player can implement the appropriate strategy while adapting to whatever the opponent is throwing his/her way.

For example, although you may start out the point with the intention of ending up at the net, your opponent may surprise you with his strategy and thereby force you to play the initial stages of that particular point in a defensive position. However, assuming that you have identified a weakness in your opponent's game that makes it attractive to come in, you have to figure out how to translate defense into offense. In this scenario, perhaps a heavy topspin lob, followed up by a swinging volley and then a regular volley will do the trick.

But how are you going to know these combinations unless you have practiced them?! The answer is that if you only practice A-B-C, X-Y-Z are going to seem like a foreign language to you and the shots are going to be difficult to execute on the spot. Therefore, it is important for a practice to include combination drills or patterns in order to be able to identify the pattern during play and have the requisite confidence to execute under pressure. Any stroke can be combined with 2-3 other shots (and then re-combined again in a different sequence) in order to learn how they work in concert. Then, when you are faced with a situation in a match, you can pick and choose the shot-sequence from various drills that you have done in the past and execute the play with confidence. 

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Reader Comments (1)

How lucky we are that Lego building blocks has been invented. It adds a new color and taste to the toy world. It is not considered as an ordinary toy, for me it is something that we should consider a lot because of the benefits it can bring to the player in terms of thinking skill, boosting creativity and imagination.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPlaymobil Rescue

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