Article  TC102                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Do Your Players know the Court?.

SDDS1705  Strategy General


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 unaware 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.