We are a couple of months away from the Qualifier in Little Rock. We are currently working through an 8 week strategy progression with our Elite group. Our hope is that each student will understand basic tennis strategies and tactics better and therefore will be performing at their highest level at the Qualifier.

There are 4 basic tennis strategies. You can either play primarily cross court, isolate a corner or weakness, move someone around the court or change direction of the ball, and attack or get to the net. There are numerous tennis tactics. Strategies are broad in scope and cover a number of different tactics. For example, my strategy might be to beat my opponent through a cross court rally. In other words, beating my opponent through building cross court. When we use the term building we mean — gaining a competitive advantage. So gaining a competitive advantage through a cross court rally. Building cross court is broad. My tactics might be one heavy ball cross court, one slice cross court, and one drive cross court which are much more specific.

Take football for an illustration. A strategy might be passing the ball or handing the ball off. A tactic is a specific play, route, or formation that you use to execute your strategy.

That being said, if students have a better understanding of strategy and tactics it will immediately help them be a better version of themselves. The following is how we will be breaking down the weeks leading up to Qualifier focusing on a specific theme (or strategy) for an entire week in addition to our usual warm-up, serves/returns, and game at the end.

Week 1 & 2: Building Cross Court

Week 3 & 4: Isolating a Corner and Changing Direction of the Ball

Week 5 & 6: Attacking the Net

Week 7 & 8: Games (depending on effort) & Match Play

A typical practice will look something like this…

  • Warm-up with a specific technical focus based on the theme
  • Drilling with a specific technical focus based on the theme
  • Point play with a specific tactical focus based on the theme
  • Serves & Returns with a specific technical focus
  • Game

For example…this week at one of the practices we did…

  • Warm-up: Alternate shots between forehands and backhands focusing on space
  • Corner Drill: One side is isolated in a corner and is running partner side to side
  • Control Game: Point starts in a cross court rally, only side is allowed to go down the line, and once they go down the line the point opens up to a full court point. You should only change direction of the ball when you are balanced, moving forward, and inside the baseline.
  • Serves focusing on getting our weight back to our back leg
  • Dingles

Thank you for taking the time to read this information. Communication between parents, players, and coaches is so important for success. Hope everyone signs up for Qualifier and we are looking forward to our best Qualifier ever!