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What's The Problem?

Ups and downs in performance
Many of the top players experience unexplicable lows in performance.
Most comments on these occurrences blame either the player's character or lack of practice or competition.
Could there be another factor that is of utmost importance and would resolve 99% of the cases?
If you are playing well, wouldn't your motivation be at a peak?
In other words, is confidence and motivation dependent on what you do on the court, basically your technique?
And what would be the most important factor in technique?
Knowledge, has been said, is power. Some of this power may be expressed below.

The Optimal Solution 

What's The Problem?

A bad day


There are days when your tennis game suffers and it is puzzling what went wrong.

You try different fixes but nothing works, the problem continues, and mistakes abound.


The Optimal Solution 

Fact number one: players of all levels have good days and bad days.
Fact number two: most players, including professionals, are not certain on how to fix a bad day and make it a good one.  They don't know the underlying cause, and they may blame a bad performance on a myriad of different things.
Fact number three: 80% of the time (statistic measured at the pro level) it is timing that is throwing the rest off.  People either tend to rush or they do too much too early.  That is, the player is not tracking the ball long enough before hitting it.
Fact number four: it is easy to fix a bad day.  You have to correct the mother of all errors, the one underlying cause: bad timing.  After that, everything starts feeling better and you can trust your strokes as much as on a good day.
Therefore, when you are in trouble, check your timing and apply the solution: track the ball longer and longer, waiting as much as possible, tracking it with your eyes, your racquet, your hand.  
You may be running to reach the ball, but your hand is stalking it, still in front.  Forget about having to be perfectly positioned, forget about racquet preparation, forget about thinking at all.  Just track the ball as if you were going to catch it with your hand or to stop it with the racquet, then give it your usual whack!
You may lose some power in the process, but you'll be confident that the ball is going in the court.  Then you can go for power again, increasing the amplitude of your swing.  If your timing is still good, you'll feel wonderful: your power strokes are going in and in.
Some players, including pros, may think this is too easy a solution, and don't believe in miracles.  I'd like to insist:  if there are some possible miracles in your tennis, this is one of them.

What's The Problem?


Cannot control the dropshot

Many times one is faced with a fast retriever, who does not make mistakes but plays well behind the baseline.

The best tactic would be to surprise him with a short ball.

But hitting the dropshot farther than expected would turn this defensive opponent into an attacking one.

With no confidence on the dropshot, the points could go on and on and favor your opponent.

The Optimal Solution 

Mastering the dropshot 

Dropshots should be hit from inside the baseline, preferably closer to the service line.  Any dropshot from this position, even if slightly deeper than intended, can be a formidable weapon.

The dropshot is especially effective against a rival that likes to stay behind his own baseline.  If you have gotten into the court and you hit a decent dropshot, disguising it, you can gain the upper hand, if he reaches it at all.

Amateur players are usually reluctant to accelerate or run forward fast. Furthermore, the distance from the baseline to the net is close to double that of the runs from the center to the singles line.

You can practice your dropshot on court or at home hitting the ball on an angle close to vertical, and making it bounce back towards you.  You can vary the height of your hit from a few inches to several feet.  The further you hit it up the more spin you should impart and the lower the aim, but always closer to vertical than to a horizontal.

The trick on a dropshot is this backspin.  That is what makes the ball die, stay low, and not advance.

Fake as if you were hitting a groundstroke, and then, with the ball close to your racquet, open it to about a 45 degree angle, and on contact open it to horizontal or thereabouts, moving it forward gently but firmly .

Practice this first by yourself, sending the ball further and further, always with the backspin so it comes back  Then have a friend or coach feed you balls from a basket, and practice hitting to both sides.

What's The Problem?

Forehand not consistent

Some players have difficulty determining an exact height of the forehand shot they are attempting.
Some balls sail higher than expected, others don't clear the net.
Even those paying careful attention to the racquet angle have similarly different results.
Tightening up on the grip to control the racquet seems to make this problem bigger, rather than assuring the shot you want.

The Optimal Solution 

Close the racquet face 

What's The Problem?

First serve glitch
Having problems with your first serve?
Does it seldom go in?
The solution is at hand. Look below.

The Optimal Solution 

Securing your first serve
Most players would love to have a higher percentage of first serves go in, without losing power.
Keep in mind that the strongest first serves of the pros have considerable ball rotation.
Bearing that in mind,  I will give you two drills that will accomplish both strengthening the serve and still controlling it with ball rotation.
The first drill is to go about 30 ft.outside the court, and serve over the fence and into the court with spin.
This will develop bending and then extending the arm upwards, using the triceps as the main driving muscle.  Most people have too much dependence on the rotator cuff, which is a much shorter and weaker muscle, and the source of most serve injuries.
You may notice that you don't hit up as much as you think.  Even professionals, when doing this drill, net into the fence quite a few of their first attempts.
When you are finally consistent and comfortable hitting over the fence, go on the court and hit from the normal service position.  You may need to adjust the angle of your wrist, so as to keep the forward edge of the racquet pointing to the ball and then come across to the right (for a right-hander), slightly covering the ball, otherwise the ball will be too long.
Regardless of how flat you try to hit it, because of your earlier practice over the fence, your serve will tend to have some spin.  That is a natural consequence of the drill over the fence.
Another drill is to get close to the net and with an abbreviated preparation, and hit the ball over the net but landing into the service square.  As you become proficient, back up towards the baseline, one good serve at a time, until you get all the way back, increasing gradually the length of your swing.
The combination of both drills will give you a much stronger and accurate serve.
Just be careful not to strain your arm too much nor to overdo it, hitting too many balls.  Use your sense and feel on how far and how hard in practicing you can go.


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