About Us

CAtennis is a passionate discussion for serious tennis players, parents and coaches looking for something different. No talk about technique, no talk about useless theory, no gimmicks; just practical advice from first-hand experience on how to improve your tennis. Kick back, drink the content, bounce ideas, and pitch articles (or friend us on Facebook).

Unless otherwise noted, all articles are authored by the founders of CAtennis.  Enjoy!

« Surround Yourself with Positive Influences | Main | Hard Work IS the Shortcut »

Figure out your "Likes" and Work Your Way Backwards

This may be a somewhat more useful concept for an already solid player to grasp but it may be helpful for anybody transitioning from the learning stages into the development stages. In terms of figuring our your "likes" you, as a player, have to determine who you are as a player and what you like to accomplish on the court. You have to do some focused soul-searching to evaluate yourself and your game. Are you an aggressive baseliner? Pusher? Touch-player? Serve-and-volleyer? Etc. In addition, you have to determine HOW you like to win points and, if you had it your way, what play would you want to repeat over and over again with success

Take for example a player with a massive inside-out forehand. Let's assume that, whenever this player hits this shot, it's "lights-out"; that is, the ball NEVER comes back. One mistake that I see a lot of players making in practice is that (a) they practice this weapon; and (b) they practice the rest of the game. HOWEVER, they NEVER (or only seldom) tie the weapon TO the rest of the game. How do you transition from one part of the game (e.g., rallying) to "unleashing the hounds" with the inside-out forehand? You have to learn to tie the two together so that not only will you recognize the opportunity when it's presented to you but that you are also ACTIVELY WORKING to CREATE such opening

One useful method of practicing is by having the player work backwards from the weapon/finishing shot. Take, for example, the player with the great nside-out (and/or inside-in forehand). Practice by feeding the inside-out forehand and then moving in for the volley. This is so that the player understands the concept and purpose of the shot. Then, add (for example), a deep backhand before the inside-out. So, the drill is deep backhand, inside-out, short volley. Once the player masters this "pattern" add another shot. Maybe, this time, it's a hard-fed backhand down the middle. So it's (1) hard backhand; (2) deep backhand; (3) inside-out; and (4) volley. Again, after mastering this pattern, you can add a forehand from the deuce side (maybe the player can hit this short-angle cross-court). So the drill is (1) forehand (short angle, cross-court); (2) hard backhand from the middle; (3) deep backhand (from a couple feet behind the baseline); (4) inside-out; and (5) volley. 

The key is for the player to (A) start seeing the weapon in context and (B) actively look to create the opening for the weapon. So next time she gets the hard-backhand, deep-backhand combo from the opponent, she is already thinking how to strike the ball in order to set up the kill-shot. 

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>