It is so important to understand how your mind and body work together when you are playing a match. If you can remind yourself of something that will help your body correct the mistake that just happened, you will avoid making the same errors over and over again.
My advice is to adjust where you are hitting the ball, rather than trying to completely change the shot you hit. If you missed the ball wide, try to hit the next shot similarly but much closer to the middle of the court. If you missed the shot deep, try to hit the ball to an area that is a little further away-usually more crosscourt.
If you miss the ball in the net, try hitting the next shot more across the middle of the net since it is lower there. It is usually better to give yourself a lot of margin for error with your target, which means that you should usually hit the ball more to the middle of the court whenever you are having trouble with your shots.
A lot of pros these days are using the middle of the court, especially at the beginning of the point, and then going more towards the outside of the court as the point progresses. This helps them make more shots at the beginning of the point and takes away the angles from the opponent.
Try using some of these directional ideas to help keep yourself from making the same errors over and over, and to give yourself a better chance of making more shots in a row than your opponent.
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis, www.annaconetennis.com and MyHamptonsPro, www.myhamptonspro.com throughout the Hamptons, NY. In addition, Steve and Miguel Coelho have introduced the JET (Junior Elite Tennis) program at the Tucson Jewish Community Center (Tucson, AZ) for high level players ages 8-18. Please contact Steve at email@example.com