Many errors occur in tennis because the player makes contact with the ball late.
Try hitting all balls in the early direction. When playing doubles, if you are hitting to the inside out direction (deuce side backhand for a right hander, ad side forehand for a right hander), hit the ball towards the middle since that is the earlier direction than to the outside of the court.
If it is the natural crosscourt direction, hit the ball towards the singles sideline. When you get a volley that you feel can win the point, hit forehand towards the deuce side and backhand towards the ad side (for a right hander). This will make your volley stay low and angled and be very difficult to retrieve regardless of where the players are positioned on the court.
The early direction idea reduces a player’s unforced errors and increases the ability to use the pace that is already on the ball. This makes the player more decisive when choosing a shot and should result in shots that are better than you are actually trying to hit!
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis (http://www.annaconetennis.com). For details on lessons and camps at Sag Harbor Park Tennis and throughout the Hamptons this summer contact firstname.lastname@example.org or management@annaconetennis.