There is a three-pronged response and/or progression to just about every need or identified objective in tennis. Here are 10 quick, easy-to-remember three-pronged (coaching) responses to situations and needs encountered every day on the court.
Objective #1 (Doubles):
Get a difficult serve back in play.
- Have your partner fall back
Objective #2 (Singles/Doubles):
Finish the point quickly (in three or fewer shots).
- Serve (return)
Objective #3 (Singles):
Extend the length of the rally.
- Hit high over the net
- Hit cross court
- Hit for depth
Objective #9 (Singles/Doubles):
Reduce your need to cover the court (particularly when injured and/or fatigued).
- Play on or inside the baseline to reduce court angles.
- Close into the net whenever possible.
- Take balls on the rise and/or before the bounce.
Objective #5 (Singles):
Expose or break down your opponent’s backhand.
- Hit out wide to the forehand to open up a hitting window or lane to the backhand.
- Relentlessly hit to the backhand whenever closing and/or attacking.
- Mix things up when hitting to your opponent’s backhand. Disrupt rhythm by varying pace, height, depth and spin.
Objective #6 (Singles):
Disrupt the rhythm of your opponent with your serve.
- Hit at the body
- Hit down the middle with depth
- Hit short and out wide (at an angle)
Objective #7 (Singles/Doubles):
Take time away from your opponent.
- Play close to the baseline
- Take the ball on the rise
- Close in response to anything hit short
Objective #8 (Singles):
Take away your opponent’s angles or opportunity to open up the court.
- Hit down the middle with depth.
- Serve at the body
- Hit behind your opponent. (Direct the ball to side of the court you hit to with your previous shot.)
Objective #9 (Singles):
Keep your opponent pinned back at the baseline.
- Hit high over the net with depth.
- Hit a heavy ball that penetrates the court.
- Be the first to strike and attack.
Objective #10 (Singles):
Make your opponent run (particularly if your opponent lacks mobility).
- Work the four corners or target areas (particularly with offsetting diagonals). Keep the ball out of the middle of the court.
- Open up the court with angles.
- Hit short and deep. Draw your opponent in and then back.