Most coaches tend to scout and find out their opponent’s weaknesses, and then tell their player how to play based on that information. But it is better to know your own strengths and weaknesses, play your game, and focus on the ball.
Pay attention to what the opponent is doing and make slight adjustments accordingly. If the opponent has a great forehand, direct more balls toward their backhand side. If they don’t like to move forward, hit some balls short and pull them in. Do these things but also keep playing the game the way you usually play. If you play your game well, this will make it tough for your opponent to play their game as well as they would like.
Practice watching the ball all the way from your opponent’s racquet to yours, and keep repeating this idea. Make knowing your own game and reacting to the ball your number one priority when playing.
Focus on the ball but pay attention to what your opponent is doing during the match!
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis, www.annaconetennis.com and MyHamptonsPro, www.myhamptonspro.com in East Hampton, NY . Steve is also a tennis professional at Ventana Golf and Country Club in Tucson, AZ. In addition, Steve and Miguel Coelho have introduced the JET (Junior Elite Tennis) program at the Tucson Jewish Community Center for high level players ages 8-18. Please contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org