In the heat of the match it often seems like you need to come up with a great shot or a great point in order to win. We often remember that spectacular shot that the top players hit in their victories and forget all of the simple things they execute over and over again throughout the match. I am a firm believer in keeping things simple and really focusing on the basics, especially as it gets to the crucial stages of the match. Getting your first serve in play, making your return of serves, and hitting a good solid first shot after the serve and return, can go a long way. Also, reminding yourself about watching the ball through the point of contact, recovering and expecting the ball to come back, and running after every ball will also pay dividends. These very simple ideas are what the best players focus on. Very often, one extra first serve made, one additional good solid hit, or one extra ball run down and returned can be the difference in the final outcome of the match. Try to fight off the thought that you need some superhuman shot to pull off the win and focus on the basics at crunch time.
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Professional, is a Tennis Coach with Traveling Tennis Pros in Tucson, Arizona, the Director of Annacone Tennis, MyHamptonsPro and First Serve Tucson. Steve is also a Volunteer Assistant Coach for the University of Arizona Women’s team. For questions about lessons, clinics, or coaching, please go to our Tennis Lessons Arizona page or contact us.