Gerry Donohue con Winning Singles Strategy for Recreational Tennis Players: 140 Tips and Tactics for Transforming Your GameThis book is not about how to hit the tennis ball. It’s about where to hit the ball, when, and why. It focuses on playing tennis strategically, which is the quickest and best way to raise your game to the next level.
For recreational players, developing a strategic approach to the game is the single, most transformative step you can take.
In this book, you will learn how to take advantage of the strengths in your game, how to minimize your weaknesses, and how to attack your opponent’s game.
Most tennis players start by focusing on the mechanics of their strokes. That makes sense. If you can’t hit the ball over the net and inside the lines, the rest doesn’t really matter.
Later, when you’re hitting the ball well, it’s fun to keep working on your shots. All tennis players love to hit the ball.
Unfortunately, stroke improvement has a diminishing return. Early on you improve rapidly, but then the pace levels off. It can be frustrating to work, week after week, month after month, and not see any progress.
Developing your strategic understanding of the game completely changes that dynamic. It’s difficult to exaggerate how much focusing on strategy can improve every aspect of your game.
At first glance, tennis is a marvelously simple game. All you have to do is hit the ball over the net and inside the lines one time more than your opponent does and you win the point. Do that often enough and you win the match.
In truth, however, tennis is endlessly complex. That’s why it becomes a lifetime passion for so many of us. It’s a demanding amalgamation of muscle memory, hand-eye coordination, geometric understanding, stamina, and split-second decision making.
Adding another layer of complexity, most of us model our games on professional tennis players. We see them win points by smacking the felt off the ball, going for the lines, serving aces, and hitting topspin lobs from outside the doubles alley. We want to play like that. The catch is we don’t have unbelievable hand-eye coordination and don’t practice eight hours a day.
Is it any wonder, then, that about 80 percent of points in a recreational match end with an unforced error?
Eight out of 10 points—and often more—end because you or your opponent hit the ball into the net or outside the lines. When we come out of top in a match, we like to think that we won. It’s probably more accurate to say that we didn’t lose.
At the core of strategic success at the recreational level is reducing unforced errors. Cutting them by just one or two per set can lead to an exponential leap in matches won.
This book are filled with strategies and tactics that you can adopt and adapt to improve your game. You don’t need to apply all of them; use only the concepts that work for you. If altering the strategies better suits your game, go for it.
Playing strategically will make your game more consistent. You’ll become a better competitor, and you’ll have more fun.