Player to Player: Developing a Better Playing Style

June 24, 2011 04:29 PM
Real Tennis Players - Like You! - Asking For and Offering Advice on the Sport They Love
Player to Player is’s regular feature in which everyday tennis players are given a forum to ask advice on the sport they love – and their fellow players will dish out advice. We’ll post a number of the best responses we receive to our question of the week.

Player to Player:
This week's question from Linda:
Recently I played with an opponent who constantly talked during the entire match, which was very distracting. I have read that to confront her could backfire on me. I did tell her that we could talk later, but that did not register. It appears that this is part of her strategy. Also, she constantly called balls hitting the outside edge of the lines out. These are both problems that I could not correct. How should these issues be addressed?
Please share your thoughts by e-mailing, and include your name and hometown.
Got a question of your own? Send that along, too!

Last week's question from Efra"
(Please note: There is no need to send additional responses to this question.)
Hello my name is Efra, and I'm from Dalton, Ga. I am currently 15 years old, and I play tennis for my high school varsity team, but lately I've had trouble with my style of play. When I first started playing tennis, I couldn't hit any topspin at all, which led me to base my style of play on accuracy, angles and consistency. Two years ago, I attended a tennis camp where they taught me how to hit topspin on my shots, and ever since then I hit powerful groundstrokes without as much consistency. My question is... would it be better to hit the slower, more accurate shots or the more intimidating powerful groundstrokes, or how can I merge the two to bring out a better playing style?
Player Responses:
Eric R., California:
As you stated that you are "currently 15", then you are a perfect candidate at the right age to add variety to your strokes. Mastery is a long term, gradual achievement however. So do not despair. Yes your "old, flat reliable" strokes can still serve a purpose.
Li Na just won the French Open with a variety pack that certainly included many if not most, being the "flat" strokes. Last year's winner used a "variety" pack. This Italian won with every spin that can be used. Her name is Schiavone. Look up those gals that you like on YouTube or use key words to see ideal examples of your own favorites hitting slice, top spin, flat ,lobs, serves and volleys. Pros practice constantly so ask your own teacher for specifics that match your ability.
The point is simple. Not every player needs to be just a topspin hitter. Variety can be even more effective. What is a natural stroke for one player may be less effective for you.
So do not "throw the baby out with the bath water."
Variety is the Spice of Life (and of Tennis), Enjoy the Journey.
*Please note that any advice given out in this forum should in no way be confused with actual medical advice. Before starting any new exercise regimen or altering your existing one, we strongly urge you to consult with your regular physician.
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