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spectastic 09-28-2012 07:42 PM

do you plan your shots before the serve?
I never plan what I'll do before I serve; it messes up my focus. But is this something that higher level players do in a match? If so, I might try to implement this in my game... as soon as I get my serve to a good level.

spectastic 09-28-2012 07:43 PM

sorry if the post is unclear. To rephrase the question: do you plan out what you will do during the rally in your head before you serve?

Larrysümmers 09-28-2012 08:05 PM

ive got a general idea, yes.

Say Chi Sin Lo 09-28-2012 08:07 PM

Of course. Play to your opponent's weaknesses, and mix up the pattern from time to time to keep your opponent guessing.

If the opponent has a weaker side (most do), go there for a weak reply. Then you've got options on the next shot.
1) Serve and volley off of that side.
2) Take advantage of the short reply and go for a winner, or an approach shot and put away the volley.
3) Or just get into your opponent's head by consistently breaking down that side.

Serve for court position:
1) Deuce court, slice it out wide and open up the ad side for whatever you want to do.
2) Ad court, kick it out wide and open up the ad side.
3) Do that enough to the point where your opponent starts leaning towards the alleys, then go up the middle.

These are just some of the things I think about before I toss up a ball.

The serve is important, it's the only shot where you have absolutely control and can either win you a point, or dictate how the point is going to play out.

user92626 09-28-2012 09:13 PM

After a while you don't really plan. Tennis is a fast paced action which the higher you go the less time you have or could afford thinking, so there's usually only one optimal course of action to take and you do per your instinct :)

NLBwell 09-28-2012 09:52 PM

My plan was that after I served that the ball it would not be returned. This worked well for many years. Unfortunately, I don't serve nearly as well as I used to and the plan doesn't seem to work much anymore.

AnotherTennisProdigy 09-28-2012 09:59 PM

For me I have a general outline of my strategy but I don't look at the specifics. I react to the shot I get and adapt to whatever plan I might have.

NTRPolice 09-28-2012 10:37 PM

I try to get involved in forehand to forehand exchanges. I can easily go on offense at any time on the forehand side but the backhand side not so much. My backhand isnt really a "weakness", not at this level especially, but I dont have an "offense" mode and my counter punching isnt so hot especially on passing shots.

If I ever do get involved in a backhand to backhand exchange, I try to slice to their forehand if possible and start a forehand to forehand exchange. If its a hard topspin backhand to backhand exchange more or less in the center of the court I just pray the dont come in. My backhand counter punching (passing shots and lob winners) are not dialed in yet.

I'm going to say I serve to the backhand or middle of the box 80% of the time. I try not to serve the forehand side of the box so they have to at least move a little to hit a forehand on a ball thats in the middle or in the backhand side of the box.

Those are just generic strategies I guess.

vil 09-29-2012 06:39 PM

Sometimes I do plan a routine sequence but not always. Selection and direction of shots after serve are hard to pre-plan 'cos you never know what return you'll be dealing with specially if you are up against a good player. I think it all depends how good your serve is. If it's solid, acurate and relatively consistent you can expect a certain types of replies when you go say, out wide or down the middle or straight into the body. Based on these, you can even practice a certain routine paterns.

zapvor 09-30-2012 07:14 PM

it depends on the point. on deuce side i will think about slicing wide, then go for open court. ad side i will think about going down teh T. but in reality i kind of let the point unfold and adjust on the fly a la federer;)

Timbo's hopeless slice 09-30-2012 09:03 PM


Originally Posted by NLBwell (Post 6925617)
My plan was that after I served that the ball it would not be returned. This worked well for many years. Unfortunately, I don't serve nearly as well as I used to and the plan doesn't seem to work much anymore.


YE, it gets a bit like that, doesn't it? Where is that big one we used to be able to reach for at need?

LeeD 10-01-2012 02:13 PM

You can only plan ahead of time if you can place your serves precisely, and know you can, while hitting it hard enough they don't just T off on it. Even then, a returner can hit a lucky mishit, throwing your plan into scramble mode.
But yes, duece court, serve up the T with heavy lefty slice, move in and plan to volley behind the player, who's scrambling to stop and recover back to near center.
If he lobs, you need plan B overhead.
If he chips low, you need plan C low volley to his weaker passing side.
If he returns a high floater, back to plan A and put it away near any sideline.

cluckcluck 10-01-2012 02:59 PM

On the return, I typically have a plan. If it's going to be a second serve, I'll take a big step in to catch the ball on the rise.
Planning which stroke is a little tougher, depending on the opponent. If you know your opponents game, you should be able to plan quickly.

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