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Tennis Coach's Corner

Tennis Tip

Presented by Mike Gardner, Camp Director
Nike Tennis Camp (Amherst) at Mount Holyoke College - All Skills Program

3 easy steps to develop a tennis tournament game plan

Tournament Gameplan Tip

Tournament Game Plan

Why is a game plan necessary? So you know what you must do to win the match --- you are not simply hitting the balls and hoping to win.

1. Define your game

A. Play your strengths – Big serve and good volley, come to the net.

B. Good groundstrokes – average serve and volley, play baseline.

2. Scout your opponent

A. Do you see a particular weakness or considerable strength from the baseline in their forehand or backhand?

B. If you can’t spot one, watch which stroke the players prefers to hit when receiving a ball hit down the middle of the court.

C. How effective is the players approach shot?

D. How often does the player come to the net? Is one side of their volley weaker than the other?

E. Does their serve have a lot of pace or spin? (Move in for spin – back for pace)

F. Know where the person likes to serve!

G. Can you come in on his or her 2nd serve?

3. Game preference – Determine player’s preferred style (Ex: baseliner or serve and volleyer) and try to get them out of their game.

A. Bring baseliner to the net.

B. Against aggressive players keep ball in play – hit higher shots to keep player behind baseline.

C. Attempt to keep ball out of players hitting zone.

D. Change pace of ball against opponent – slow down ball against swingers – speed up pace against pushers.\

Remember: try to play your game. If you can’t watch your opponent in a match, you’ll have to make most of your decisions during the warm-up so give your opponent the chance to show you his style by hitting the ball down the center and to both forehand and backhand sides.

Check more great tennis tips and improve your skills this summer at the Nike Tennis Camp Amherst College.

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