Tennis tactics and strategy mean many different things to different players. I would say that many tennis players overlook tennis tactics and strategy in preparing for a match. They spend most of their time on tennis drills and strokes. Unfortunately, not enough time is spent on learning tactics to beat their opponents. They go with what shots and methods they know best and hope for the rest. Now, this is a strategy and will work with players that are not at their level, but will not work with players above them.
The players who do have a plan often don’t stick with it when things do not go right during the course of the match. I did it myself two weeks ago, even with my knowledge of tennis strategy and mental/mind self-improvement techniques.
My strategy was to serve and volley, and one of my tactics was to place a large percentage of my serves to my opponent’s backhand. During the beginning of the third set, my opponent hit two backhand winners in a row right past me off my serve. I started to believe less in my ability to win with my tactics, and I started staying back. Sure I won a few games staying back, but I did not win the match. I am not sure if I could have won if I had continued getting to the net, but I definitely would have felt better about myself after the match because I would have been going with my strengths.
I did learn something from that match, though. This past weekend, I played another match within the league, and when I got to the third set, I continued with my strategy of being aggressive in coming to the net, and I won the match. I wasn’t as happy at the outcome of winning than as I was at being mentally strong to continue with my tennis tactics. I spent a week ‘programming’ my mind to automatically respond to certain situations during the match. If I was going to lose the match, it would not be because I was ‘scared’ of losing using my planned strategy and tactics.
Having a solid plan and having the mental ability to continue with the tactics is a very crucial part of tennis that is often overlooked amongst players.
Be decisive with strategy and tactics and give it enough time to see how the plan plays out. Depending on a players long term tennis plans and the importance of a certain match, there is a time and place to abondon their tactics and try new ones. I’ll talk about that topic in another post.