do you plan your shots before the serve?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by spectastic, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. spectastic

    spectastic New User

    Aug 24, 2012
    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.
  2. spectastic

    spectastic New User

    Aug 24, 2012
    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?
  3. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

    Jun 29, 2009
    1313 Mockingbird Lane.
    ive got a general idea, yes.
  4. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo G.O.A.T.

    Aug 30, 2005
    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.
  5. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Jan 27, 2008
    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 :)
  6. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Jun 18, 2004
    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.
  7. AnotherTennisProdigy

    AnotherTennisProdigy Professional

    Aug 10, 2012
    Miami, FL
    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.
  8. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Hall of Fame

    Aug 11, 2012
    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.
  9. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

    Mar 18, 2012
    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.
  10. zapvor

    zapvor G.O.A.T.

    Jul 27, 2006
    tennis courts
    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;)
  11. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

    Feb 8, 2011

    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?
  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    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.
  13. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

    Apr 29, 2010
    Between the baseline and netcord.
    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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