2018-01-01 / Community

Know your tennis DNA


The three things that separate all levels of tennis players are fitness, footwork and shot selection. I want to elaborate on shot selection.

In tennis you are always in one of three positions: defense, neutral or attack. The best players in the world understand that when you are in the defensive position you must go to neutral before going on the attack. The biggest mistake I see at the recreational level is trying to hit an attack shot from the defensive position.

Your shot selection is based on your court position. Your court position determines your power, target, spin and height over the net. I call them your DNA choices.

For example: Let’s say your opponent has pushed you deep with a lob in the back corner (and you’re now in a defensive position). If you hit an aggression (attack) shot back, most likely you will end up keeping yourself in a defensive position. What you want to do is return a high (defensive), slow (defensive) ball back to the middle of your opponent’s court. This will allow you time to recover to a good position and be ready for the next shot.

If you take the shot and hit it too low and hard it will get to your opponent too fast and allow him or her to stay on the offensive.

A few simple things to remember:

When in the defensive position, add height to the ball and subtract power.

When in the attack position, don’t do everything in the attack category. Think “swing aggressive, aim conservative.” This will allow a better margin of error on your shot.

Adam Lane is a tennis professional at the Bonita Bay Club. He can be reached at Lane@swspotlight.com

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