December 27, 2016 - Focus on How to Beat Someone, Not On Why You Can’t

How often have you played a match against someone who has something that scares you? Strong serves? Strong forehand or backhand? Quick blocks? Heavy push? And so on. Many players get pre-occupied worrying about how to deal with these shots rather than focusing on what they can do to win.

For example, if an opponent has a very strong backhand, don’t focus on or worry about their backhand; instead focus on what you want to do to bring your own strong shots out while avoiding theirs. Against a strong backhand player, you have many options. You can attack their forehand; go to the forehand to draw them out of position and then go back backhand, forcing awkward shots; go to the middle and wide backhand (as well as forehand) to force even more awkward shots; keep the ball deep so their backhands aren’t so strong; give them shots that their backhand isn’t so strong against (heavy topspin, heavy backspin, quick shots, etc.); throw them off with varied pace; or use serve and receive to dominate rallies so they don’t get to use their strong backhand (or whatever else their strength is). 

The same is true of any other strong shot, including serves. If they have a strong serve, focus on how to return it to take away their best follows. So stop worrying, do some analysis, perhaps experiment a bit, and focus on bringing out your strong shots while taking away the opponents!