I am a firm believer in focusing on your strengths during a tennis match. You can always get better at hitting the ball, improving a specific shot, and sharpening your technique. However, you want to hit your best shots when you are playing a match.
If your forehand is better than your backhand, hit more forehands. If you hit crosscourt better than down the line, use more crosscourt shots regardless of your opponent’s position. Players who are better from the baseline than at net should spend more time there during the point. Even though it is tempting to try to hit shots based on your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, it is more important for you to hit your shots well.
An average shot to your opponent’s weakness will likely not be as effective as a good shot to your opponent’s strength. Often, you can break down an opponent’s strength with your best shots hit to that area.
Use your best shots in a match and you will become more confident when the match gets tight, giving yourself a better chance to win.
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis (http://www.annaconetennis.com) and MyHamptonsPro based in Sag Harbor, NY (http://www. myhamptonspro.com) and Tennis Professional at Ventana Canyon Golf and Racquet Club in Tucson, AZ. For details on lessons, clinics, or coaching, contact Steve at email@example.com or call 865-300-7323