As a tennis coach, I often observe beginning and intermediate-level players warming up for their matches. Unfortunately, I notice that some players prioritize power over the fundamental skills needed for a strong game.
It was a proud moment for me when I overheard my younger daughter explaining to her mother that “everybody can hit hard, but the good players know how to control the ball.” This comment made me reflect on the priorities that players should focus on to improve their tennis game.
Based on my experience, I believe the following should be the priorities in tennis:
- Consistency: The first priority should be developing the ability to hit the ball over the net and inside the lines. Without consistency, it is challenging to win matches.
- Placement: Being able to hit the ball deep and short, or side to side, is key to getting opponents off-balance or hitting from their weaker side. Effective placement requires precision and strategy.
- Spin: The ability to add spin to your shots allows for better ball control and a wider range of bounces. By using spin, players can make their shots more unpredictable and challenging for their opponents.
- Power: Power is the last priority and should only be developed once the first three skills have become comfortable to the player. Developing power without mastering the basics can lead to errors and poor shot selection.
Remember, improving your tennis game takes time and dedication. By prioritizing the fundamentals and focusing on each skill in order, you can develop a well-rounded game and enjoy the sport to the fullest. Have fun on the tennis court!