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Old 02-13-2012, 12:55 PM   #55
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 957

Great discussion, in this and other threads, which I have been silently following - thanks all.

I played a friendly set with a 4.5 USTA player and tried playing to smart targets. I lost 6-4. But this exposed some major weaknesses in my game that my opponent took advantage of, and pointed out areas where I need to do some work.

First of all, even though I landed my shots approximately right, I sent the balls straight into my opponent's power zone (he's 6'3"), and he was hitting them back DTL. The tactic was right, but I needed to hit with more zip, and I think that will come with practice - I was definitely being too mindful of the target and too cautious with my stroke as a result.

The second problem was my movement... I think I spent so much time looking at my handiwork that I didn't recover in time to respond to the DTL shots well, and couldn't take advantage of the open court. The lesson here for me is that good technique, including movement and recovery, is essential for implementing the smart targets tactic well. We take this for granted in pros, and almost never notice how quickly they recover to a good position - of course, it takes a lot of effort to do this like clockwork after every shot!

A third problem was that the court was very fast, and the ball kept lower than usual - I like higher bouncing courts where I can get more power and spin. This was taking some zip out of my shots, I am sure. And my opponent clearly realized this, and he was slicing many of his shots really low, making it hard for me to change direction even on inside balls. Perhaps I should have hit the difficult ones back to where they came from... oh well, live and learn, I suppose.

Anyway, I am quite excited since I have some new goals now... it's great to have something new to work on.

Last edited by bhupaes; 02-13-2012 at 01:13 PM.
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