Trying too hard.
Many players try too hard. First thing many people notice when
watching professional players is that they make it look easy. Especially
in a warm up. They are relaxed, just enough footwork, as tempo increases
racquet speed and footwork increases while staying calm and relaxed.
Pro's let it happen, they let the racquet do the work.
Often players get tight and they try to muscle the ball. Only muscle serves, volleys, and ground strokes. How many times do you call a serve out, hit
a great return and wonder why you can't do it that well when the serve is
You want to be intense but stay calm and let the racquet do the work. Try
not to try. Make it happen. Breathe out when making contact with the ball.
Don’t thinking about the score and stay calm.
A great two-handed backhand starts with the perfect set-up.
The grip: The most commonly used grips are the Continental for your dominant hand and an Eastern forehand grip for your non-dominant hand.
As the ball arrives, split-step and then execute your unit turn. Your shoulders and your racquet will turn together. The leg closest to the incoming ball should step out a little as you turn, so you don’t close yourself off to the ball. You’ll need space to step into the shot.
Shoulder turn should be as far as that you have to look over your dominant shoulder at the incoming ball. As you prepare to hit this shot, all of your weight should be on your back foot, ready to transfer to your front foot. Take your racquet back above the level of the ball. Your shoulders should be level and your knees slightly bent.
Relax your hands and let your racquet head drop below the height of the ball just before transferring weight to your front foot, and step into the shot. Don’t strangle your racquet handle. This looping motion needs to be fluid in order to generate racquet-head speed so that you can create both power and spin by brushing up the back of the ball. The butt cap of your racquet should be aimed at the ball. Your forward swing will begin as you transfer your weight.
Uncoil your shoulders and make contact out in front. The most effective is to have both elbows slightly bent. At contact, all of your energy from your legs, shoulder and arms should be driving forward and through the ball, toward your target.
After the ball has left the racquet, your momentum should be forward and your arms should be extended out toward the ball. Your stroke should have length. If you pull off the shot too soon, a lot of your energy will be wasted and you’ll hit a much weaker and less accurate shot.
On the follow-through, your elbows should finish high. Your non-dominant hand pulls your rear hip through the finish and you’ll face the net. Notice that at the start of this shot, you were looking over your dominant shoulder at the ball. Now you’re looking over your non-dominant shoulder—that’s how much shoulder turn is required. When you plant your outside foot, you’ll push off of it and recover with a shuffle or a crossover step, depending where you are on court and the trajectory of your opponent’s next shot.
Fast not Hard.
It is critically important that whenever you think about shots in tennis played with higher speed, you think FAST instead of HARD.
We don't hit the ball HARD, we hit it FAST. Your mind has made an association long time ago with the word hard. Whenever you hit something hard, you will tense your muscles. Hard equals strong. And strong equals tense muscles - which prevents them from contracting fast. But in tennis the goal is not to be strong but to move the racquet head through the air very fast in order to transfer that speed into the ball – so that the ball will then go fast.
Fast equals relaxed. Swing a few times with your racquet through the air and try to move it fast through the air (so that you hear the sound of strings whooshing through the air) with as little effort as possible. That's fast and that's the approach with groundstrokes, serves and overheads. Only a volley is more of a pushed or sometimes punched feel.
Basic Tennis Strategies.
It is important to have a game plan. Study and observe your opponent, his/her strengths, weaknesses. Pay attention to their speed, height, game style, technique. Once you have done that there are some simple tennis strategies you can follow to beat your opponent. Of course you should have tools to do so. Most basic tennis strategies are similar to those of any sport: win more points and lose fewer points. But what tennis tactics support a tennis strategy of winning more points? Use the knowledge you’ve gained by observing your opponent. For instance, you’ve observed which is your opponent’s weaker side. Now attack this weaker side with serves, returns, and ground strokes. Force your opponent to use this weaker side; and play faster shots to that side, giving your opponent less time to react. Use variations of height, spin, and speed to disrupt your opponent’s timing.
If your opponent is tall, land the ball low, forcing him or her to bend. Tall players usually don't move too well so it's a good idea to have them hitting on the run. If your opponent appears out‐of‐shape or slow, force him or her to run from side‐to‐side or from shallow‐to‐deep and back again. If your opponent is fast, use his/hers speed against them and hit behind them. A full array of tactics can be applied to most game situations, allowing you to outplay your opponent, thus winning more points. Perhaps, for example, among your tennis strategy to win more points is to play aggressively from the baseline.
Differing tactics may be used to achieve this secondary strategy: you may strike balls on the rise to put pressure on your opponent; or you may use as many inside out forehands as possible. Or, if for example, your opponent is uncomfortable at the net, you can hit short, then lob or you can make your opponent volley.
Remember to remain flexible and resilient throughout your match; if a stroke is not working, don’t stubbornly keep trying it to support your tennis strategies even though it’s obviously “off”. And, against all of your opponents, it’s essential to disguise your strokes and vary your placements; deception is important to your tennis strategies, more important even — at times — than sheer power or technique is to supporting your tennis tactic.
You can also surprise your opponent with a moon ball or drop shot. Then, when you’ve set up a short, weak ball, attack with your strong shot, that forehand, approach shot, or volley. Do not take unnecessary risks thus making unnecessary errors and losing a point — this does not support your tennis strategy; play to stay in the point until that opportunity arises to win a point. Those who are less savvy with their tennis strategies and tennis tactics often try to hit offensive shots to win a point from positions on the court where they should try to hit defensive shots to lose fewer points.
Your opponent may also serve to your weaker side — to support his or her tennis strategies, forcing mistakes or weak returns. What tennis tactics support your tennis strategies of losing fewer points now? Move back as far as possible, giving yourself enough time to judge the ball and make good contact. Keep defending with varied shots — whether low slices, slow balls, or even moon balls — discovering what neutralizes your opponent’s swing.
Try a high topspin, pushing your opponent farther and farther behind the baseline. Hit a deep but also penetrating shot by striking the ball when it is still rising after it has bounced. It’s difficult for your opponent to attack from this position; you’ll either gain points from unforced errors or your opponent, in moving back, will no longer be able to attack, frustrating his or her tennis strategies.
Play straight down the middle to take the angles away from your opponent. Or, if your backhand is your weak shot, which is often the case, play a down‐the‐line backhand, forcing your opponent to change his attack to a cross‐court shot, which then comes to your forehand. Finally, if absolutely necessary, simplify your strokes, just blocking the ball but improving consistency.
Now let’s say your opponent is using variations of spin, speed, or height to disrupt your timing — how do you neutralize this attack? Again, your tennis tactics here are not to win more points, but to lose fewer points. Read the ball. Those who are masters at tennis strategies and tennis tactics do this well, observing shots carefully, quickly reading the height, spin, and trajectory.
It’s also important to know what is your best return on various shots. Again, those with advanced tennis strategies and tennis tactics know their style of game — that is, what their strengths are and how to best utilize them. Often, if you receive a low slice, you want to return a low slice, and if you receive a high ball, you want to return a high ball.
And if your opponent serves and volleys on first serves — another tactic to support his or her tennis strategy; how do you neutralize this attack? You need to force a complicated volley. Either move back, achieving enough time for a forceful swing that returns a fastball; or move inside the court, blocking the ball and landing it at the feet of your opponent; or determine your opponent’s weaker volley and land the ball on that side.
All of the above neutralize your opponent; they are not offensive tennis tactics, but rather that of losing fewer points. Yes, you have to know how to win more points and how to lose fewer points; keep both in mind as you analyze your and your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.
Tennis Tip to improve the toss while serving.
First of all think of not tossing the ball but PLACING it in the desired location.
Do not hold the ball in your hand when you toss; hold it in your fingertips. Begin the toss in front of your legs. Toss the ball up and forward toward where you imagine your point of contact.
Do not flick the ball with your wrist as you let go; and, remember to release the ball with your hand at as high a spot as is comfortable, at least as high as your head. If there is a short distance between the release point and the contact point, there is less of a chance that the ball will go off course.
Make certain to toss the ball only as far as the height at which you’ll make contact, or a few inches higher. Higher tosses are more likely to stray, and even when they don’t, they’re more difficult to strike. Finally, reach after the ball with the arm with which you tossed it.
If your opponent appears worn out after a long point, and is still catching his or her breathe, aim your next serve directly at his or her body. An opponent who is out of breathe will often make the return without taking required adjustment steps for returning a body serve.
Aiming the ball at the receiver will often thus result in a weak return that then allows you to hit an aggressive shot back.