Do your players know the court?.
Getting players to understand and appreciate their stroke options
depending on where they are on the court and what type of ball
they are receiving (pace – spin – height etc.).
The positions of the players shown on the diagram are arbitrary as
they could be in any position on the court.
Beginners, club players and players who have not played many matches, in many instances are un aware of their position on the court
and what shot selection they should make in these situations. It is a worthwhile exercise to occasionally go through the various scenarios
with the players to make them aware of what options they have; particularly in regard to defending and building a point from the baseline
– attacking when possible, the transition through the centre of the court and being creative and finally at what stage they should be putting
the ball away and winning the point.
Once your players have most of their technical skills, it is necessary for them to understand strategy and when and how to use these
technical skills. I have observed many club players who seem to have everything going for them but when it comes to winning the point,
they are unable to take advantage of the numerous options available; this applies equally to singles and doubles.
The tactical/technical connection is quite simple - Technique is just a way to perform a tactic.
Technical skills on their own are not very useful if they are not used in the right way at the right time. The fact is that without tactical and
stratigic knowledge, technique is just a way to looking stylish and having good looking strokes.
It does not matter how many good technical strokes are available to a player, if they don't know the correct time to use them, a good coach
will integrate technique together with tactics.
It is also essential that players build an automatic recognition of where their opponents are on the court through peripheral
vision and sensing their presence. These are learnable skills.