May 21, 2016
If I had it my way, I would be constantly playing against different players that would challenge me in multiple ways. For example, I would practice against a big server to work on my returns and a strong counter puncher to work on my controlled aggression. Unfortunately the amount of players and time we have are limited so we have to make the most of what practices we can do. This is why I have used many different tactics to get the most out of my practices. Here are a few tips for you to try depending on the type of player you are practicing against.
Practicing with a non-match player
I have a very solid tennis player that I’ve hit with but he wants nothing to do with a match so we just hit. No points, just hitting. This can make practices seem less intense and also give you a false sense of you hitting well when there isn’t any pressure put on yourself during the hit session. There are ways around this. First, I will play points in my head up to a set. So every ball that I drop feed I’ll say a score to myself. This keeps me focused and puts added pressure to my playing. To increase intensity, I first will make sure I wear shorts with large pockets so we can hit as many balls as possible with fewest breaks. High reps always trump low reps when you are hitting. Lastly, see if you can end practices with a tie-breaker or just serves and returns. Even if they don’t want to play it out, it would be good practice to start the point, which is critical in tennis.
Practicing with someone that only plays matches
Some players just want to play matches. First of all, you should have a few of these players available to connect with to make sure you are getting match experience. There is a huge difference between hitting well and playing well so find people to play matches! There are a couple of guys I know that will only play matc