How to be more consistent and stop making easy mistakes
Are you tired of missing in your matches?
Noticing that you are making too many easy mistakes is a great first step, but it may not be enough. Identifying WHY you miss will help stop those dreaded errors and take your game up a level!
Keep the ball cross court
The best way to keep the ball in play during rallies is by going cross-court:
The diagonal of the court is four feet longer (more than 1 meter for my metric people :-).
The net is lower in the middle.
AND you have fewer steps to take to your ideal point of recovery.
An additional benefit is that if you hit the ball late it will most likely still be in.
Take some pace off
Time and time again, recreational players make the mistake of hitting way too hard. They can maybe hit one good shot with a lot of pace but what happens if the opponent can match that pace? They miss because they’re over-hitting.
Find a sustainable pace you are comfortable with!
Aim higher over the net, at least one racket length! Add more topspin to have immediate lift on the ball to the net and to keep the ball in the court. If you were to sit court side at a pro match you’d be amazed how high they actually hit the ball.
Aiming for the lines shouldn't be your priority. Instead, focus on hitting shots into smart targets and aim for a much bigger margin of error. If you have junior lines on your court (60 feet baseline instead of 72 feet) aim for those lines - if you miss those the ball is still in! When you practice, use visual aids like cones or ball cans so you get a feel for what your safe margins are.
Anxiety - No quick fixes
The longer a rally lasts the more anxious players get and want to end the point. It’s your classic ‘fight or flight’ response at work. Know that your opponent feels the exact same thing! So dig in and fight the urge to finish the point quickly.
Lack of fitness
When players get tired they’re starting to miss. Either they’re out of position or go for broke because they know they won’t get to the next ball. Club players don’t necessarily have the time to train off court so
here is a great drill you can do to work on tennis specific endurance!
The Pyramid 10 drill
Start with 10 balls side to side (either coach, training partner of ball machine feeds). Work on hitting cross court, with good net clearance and margins. If you miss a ball add on one more ball. After each set take 20 seconds break. Then continue the drill with 11, 12, 13 balls side to side all the way up to 20. If you’re in incredible shape come all the way back down from 20 to 10.
Of course, you can start lower with 4 or 5 balls depending on your fitness level and go up to 10 and then back down or stop at 10. It’s all good 🙂
If you want more details on how to stop missing, including more drills watch this: https://youtu.be/fVq5yHEwLMQ