Tactical basics for effective match play

Understanding how to use the court and to be able to play different shots to create a tactical advantage over the opponent is vital. It’s important to recognise the value of depth in your shots and how they can create opportunities for the next shot to finish the point. Work on your players positioning, depth and approach with this tactical session.

What’s in the session?

Begin the session with a physical warm up, going through a rotation of shots from varying depths. Then work on your players core strength as a basis for their technique and movement around the court.

The first part of the skill development phase begins with working on the depth of the players backhand. They’re told to aim for the deuce side back corner, working on their accuracy down the line as well as finding a good length. The coach must emphasise the importance of moving back into the center of the court with each shot to encourage a thought process after the stroke.

The next part sees a neutral rally played out against the coach for the player to recognise the opportunities that arise after a shot of good depth. The neutral nature allows them to recognise how they could approach the net after certain shots and to understand how the tactical plays can create an advantage when there is minimal pressure on them.

Finally, the session finishes with a couple of practices which develop the players approach play to the net, hitting slices and volleys to the back of the court before finishing off the point. Work on technique and developing a recognition of what type of shot to play when they’ve got to the net.

Finish off with a thorough warm down and reflection of what has been learnt in the session to reinforce their tactical understanding.

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