BeFit August 2003

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Any Place on the Court Will Do

Attn: Jake Nelson



August 10, 2003





Any place in the court will do !


You need to hit with consistency to win at tennis. Hitting to any place in the court will do but having control over where in the court is better. After consistency comes direction. Getting the ball back is fine, but to run your opponent all over will help wear him out. The ultimate goal is to be able to hit anywhere in his court from anywhere in your court.


Start out by mastering crosscourt forehands and backhands.  The highest percentage of consistency is crosscourt. Next master down-the-line shots. Once your opponent is running wide for your crosscourt shot take the opportunity to hit down the line.


A good routine to practice with your partner is to have one hit only down the line and the other hit back only crosscourt. Do ten hits in a row, then switch. This will take a lot of running so it is good for improving the athleticism in you. Hitting ten in a row will aid your concentration and enhance your consistency.


You can set up patterns of play depending on the weakness of your opponent. If he runs well left and right then hit shorter, sharp angles to make him run forwards to the net. You may find he has a weak net game. If he is dangerous at the net then hit deep back to the baseline and keep him back. If he stays back far enough it could open up the court for you to come in to the net and win the point.


Analyze his game. Figure out where he has trouble and use that to your advantage. If you become good enough to win against your opponents strongest shots, great for you. However, most of the time you want to exploit his weaknesses to win the match.


Sometimes you will have to play to his strength to get his weakness to open up for you. Opponents usually know what shots are weak for them and go to great lengths to play around it. You need to figure out a way to overcome.


Another direction of choice is to hit deep and to the sides of the court. If you frequently hit short up the middle of the court you will be the one doing the running. The sooner you hit deep or to a good angle the court will open up for you to your advantage on that point.


Billy Jean King believed in winning her matches by hitting steadily down the middle to within about 3 feet of the baseline. That is safe, offensive placement and a good start for your game plan. Depending on the results you can enhance your chances of winning.


After you master getting the ball placed to your advantage, consistently, you can develop your depth, spin, and power of the ball.


Tip of the month:

Be patient. Tennis is a complex game involving your physical and mental abilities mixed with instruction and practice. In addition, the opponent is against you, and the ball is moving while your trying to hit it.


For further information or instruction, contact Stan Carter, USPTA certified professional, at the Flint Canyon Tennis Club: 818-790-3355 or 213-321-8699.   You are invited to visit or email questions and comments to


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