There’s no doubt that you need to have a basic handle on technique in order to maximise your tactical options. It’s a tough task to be able to consistently put the ball in a certain spot time after time if your technique breaks down, that’s part of the reason that this article sits lower down in this series than some of the fundamental technique videos.
That being said, it’s important to have an idea of what you are trying to achieve with the ball no matter what your level.
In the playlist focused on tactics, you’ll find a number of basic concepts that will allow you to get the edge on your opponent. These certainly aren’t rocket science but if you’re new to the game they will help you create a basic framework to work to.
This excellent video focuses on three basic concepts:
- Hitting straight and deep before your opponent does
- Using pro-active anticipation to push forward and get in front of your opponent when you hit a good shot.
- Play an appropriate response to the situation you’ve created. If for example you’ve forced a boast and your opponent is behind you, get on the next ball quickly and play a simple drop shot.
As you look to progress you’ll also want to think about trying to incorporate these elements into your game:
Survive, survive, survive – make it hard for your opponent by getting lots of balls back. Learn to use lobs, counter drops and boasts from defensive situations.
Play to strengths – It goes without saying that it makes sense to try and play the shots your best as when you get the chance to. This can be done by playing certain shot combinations in conjunction with each other to set up scenarios that you favour.
Play to your opponent’s weaknesses – Again this one may seem like an obvious one but if your opponent has a glaring weakness, expose it. If they can’t hit a backhand volley, don’t be afraid to keep lifting to their backhand volley.
How to practice
Check out these great pairs sessions, that focus on encouraging the 3 basic tactical concepts introduced:
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