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3 Strategy Mistakes You’re Making As A Beginner Tennis Player [Part 1]

September 7, 2019


– Hey guys. Scott and Nate from playyourcourt.com and today we’re going to
show you the first of three tactical mistakes we see
a lot of beginners make. All right, guys. Today we are talking about
some tactical mistakes that we see a lot of beginners make. This video, to be clear, is for players in the player court
rating of 60 and below. If you’re not in our community, I really, really don’t understand why. It’s five dollars a month. It’s basically free.
– It’s five dollars. – We give you all of the amazing
things you could ever want. So, join if you haven’t already, but if you’re not in the community, or familiar with our rating system, a player court 60 is the equivalent of about a USTA 3.5. So, we’re really talking to beginners up to 3.5 level players. If you’re above that
level, turn this video off. Hopefully, you’re not doing this stuff. Nate, talk to me. What are we getting into today? – Yeah, so this series, we’re going to be talking about tactics. In video one, we’re going to
be covering moving forward and attacking the ball or the
reluctance to move forward and attack the ball. In the beginning, when we’re
first learning this game, it’s really about consistency and we’re trying not to miss, right? But it’s also what keeps
us at the lower level is by not developing weapons, and not learning how to attack. Now, certainly can we get to high level by building just a ridiculous amount of shot tolerance and consistency? Yes. But, it’s also the ceiling, all right. So, in this particular play, and you might be guilty of this, right, you get a ball that’s like a
mid court ball or a short ball and you run in to hit it
and then you’re quickly scurrying back to to the baseline, right, because you’re not
comfortable with the net yet. All right, so, this is
tactical mistake number one, not attacking, not
tactically making a decision on how to hurt your opponent. And today, we’re going to
talk about how to fix it. There’s a thousand different ways you can fix it but we’re going to focus on just a couple and we’ll keep
them really simple for you. – And I’ve got a quick story for you to just drive home this point too. So, even is, you know, an ex division one college tennis player, I didn’t like to come
to the net and volley. I might have blossomed a little bit late, which I had seen this video
back in my junior career, – He still doesn’t like coming to the net. – I’m still not a big fan of it, but what my college coach said is, look you’re 6’3″, two
hundred and at the time, five pounds, maybe a bit heavier now, you’re much more comfortable at the net than your opponent is
trying to get the ball past you at the net. And if you bring that all the way down to the beginner level, I think it’s probably even
more challenging, right? Like if you’re just
getting going with tennis, you’re certainly not comfortable
moving the ball around, redirecting a ball around
a target at the net. So even coming up to the
net and just planting there, and just existing, you’re going to put a lot
of pressure on your opponent that you don’t when you
run back to the baseline. So this stuff is important. We’ll dive into more of it now. – All right, so the first
thing we’re going to do is we’re going to show
you kind of the culprit. Like what is the mistake? All right, we’ll check that out now. All right guys, what
you’re going to see here is Scott and I really just
focused on staying consistent. We’re not doing a ton with power. I’ve got my trusty continental grip, my teaching grip. But at some point through this rally, Scott is going to give me a short ball and then we’re going to see the mistake, is that I’m coming in, I poke at it, and then I desperately trying
to get back to the baseline. So guys, you can see there, I’m really not making
myself much of a threat when I’m getting this short ball. I’m simply getting up there and
I’m poking it back to Scott, because I’m more concerned about what’s going to happen to
me being at the net, right, so I’m not even thinking about attacking. I’m simply surviving. – Just terrified. I don’t want to go up to the net. It’s scary up there, I’m going to run back to
the baseline and hide. – So there’s a couple things
that are happening here, is one, Scott is going to get
really, really comfortable, right? Because if he’s never being attacked when he’s hitting a short ball, at that point, he’s not
really worried about what’s happening with the strokes, he’s going to be free. – It’s huge to highlight that too, ’cause you think about when
you’re playing with beginners, if all of a sudden, there’s no penalty for you
hitting the ball short, your target area just got way bigger. – Yeah, right. A hundred percent. Your opponent’s going to
loosen up a whole lot quicker, because there really is no threat, right? So now let’s reverse it, but let’s say now, on
that ball I’ve decided to tactically be more aggressive, okay? And then the first one, this
one’s going to be a lot, it’s a little obvious,
you’ve probably heard it, but it’s worth repeating. – For sure. Especially at the beginner level. – The beginning level, yeah. So what we’re going to talk about is attacking your opponents
weaker side, okay? – Almost always the back hand, if we’re talking about players
at 3.5 or below, right? – It definitely is, be careful though if it’s a lefty. It’s amazing how many players I work with, they’re like, I was like
halfway through the set and I realized she or he was a lefty. Wait a second. But yeah, that’s going to happen. So on this tactic, you’re going
to get up to the short ball and you’re simply going
to commit, all right? And that is the problem here
about moving to the net. It’s not just as easy
as going down the line to the weaker side, all right? It’s about committing to it. A lot of times it’s happening is that we’re hitting to the weaker side and we hit it at like 40% and then we basically watch it. We get past anyways and
we go, ah that didn’t work I’m not going back in. You have to commit, all right? So if you’re committing to going in, we start getting one of
two things happening, either we’re hitting bigger,
heavier to the target and we’re making the target bigger, right, or we’re making our target smaller and we’re hitting more
towards the lines, right, we’re being more accurate. And that always brings in
one of my favorite sayings. – I don’t know what
your favorite saying is, what, what is your favorite saying? – You can hit hard and
you can hit at the lines, but you can’t do them at the same time. – That’s a nice saying. – All right, so we’re going
to check out this (laughs). We’re going to check out
this tactic, right now. And what you’re going to see here, is I’m going to be a lot more aggressive working to that side and
I’m going to point out, when we get in the demo,
I’m going to point out a little something about the split step to see if this helps. – We’ll try it, Nate’s way
more suited for beginners demos than more sophisticated, so hopefully this goes
as well as the first one. Yup, here we go. – Just fell flat. Hear that? Like just crickets. All right, guys, same scenario here. Scott and I are focused on
just keeping the ball in play, we’re both focused on keeping
the ball nice and deep. And at the beginner level, this is what we’re seeing, like consistency is often what wins, but really to get to this next level, as soon as Scott breaks down short, I’m going to start focusing
on attacking that weaker side to where I can set up
and put the ball away in the open court. – So channeling your
inner beginner there, huh? Was that a continental forehand? – Continental forehand.
– Wow. – Teacher’s forehand
– All right. – All right, guys, so there
the strategy’s pretty clear, right? Like I’m just moving
forward on that short ball, but I’m committed, right? I’m not hitting and waiting
to see if it’s good enough, I’m just closing in. So I think sometimes what happens is this service line, this white line is like, stop and see what happens. And we don’t really want that. I know that’s kind of tough. – Got to commit. – Yeah, if you commit
and you continue forward and you focus on that
split step at contact as opposed to the age old
stop at the service line, you’re going to be able to
cut off the angles better. And kind of predictable that you
were going cross court there, right? – Yeah, and guys to really dumb this down, particularly at the beginner level, we just don’t know how to hit
the ball down the line yet with any sort of consistency. So when Nate approaches there, and I know in the demo, Nate put a little more pressure on me, even if you get a short ball and you drive it just to the backhand side where they’re not moving a whole lot, you can pretty much expect
at the beginner level to see ball back either cross court or more towards the middle. At the higher level, we might teach you, hey you got
to shade and cover the line, cause they could burn you down the line. That’s not at all the case
at the beginner level. – Yeah, well said, man. So there you can really
sit on that cross court, because that’s the one, remember they’re not
trying to miss either. All right, tactic number two. – A little bonus here.
– This is my favorite. – So here, if you’re just
not comfortable at the net, you’re like, hey, cool, I’m going
to poke at that ball all day, because I’m just not coming in to volley. We’re going to show you now how to get your opponent to the net. – That’s right. – All right, so this tactic, we’re going to be doing
a little pull and push. We talk about this in another video. In this series, what this refers to is Scott’s going to break
down on a short ball and what I’m going to do now is I’m going to pull him in. So we need some backspin, right, we needed some slice. If you don’t have a slice
forehand, a slice backhand, this will not apply to you. You cannot do it with topspin, ’cause the ball is going to sit up. – And this is bonus material. It might be a little bit more advanced. If you’re a beginner, saying
I have no idea how to slice, we cover that in other videos. – Yeah, 3.0, 3.5 some of you guys, 3.5, you guys got slice. – Yeah, I hope so. – All right, so you’re
pulling them in, right, and now, because you’re
going to back pedal, you want to get back at the baseline, now as they come in as you drop back, they’re susceptible to the lob, and you’re going to do that push. You’re going to push them deep or you can take the passing shot. You want to demo this? – Yeah, let’s do it. – All right, let’s go. All right guys, same scenario, Scott and I focusing on consistency. But I’m looking for that short ball and if I get it, now I’m going to go pull, oh yeah, now I’m going push. – Oh no. – With a big lob over his head. So there, I don’t have to be at net. I’m going to pull him to net, Assuming he doesn’t
like it up there either. All right, so in the last demo, Scott hit deep, giving me the lob, but on this one, when
he breaks down short, he’s going to try to drop me back, so I’m going to stalk a little bit. Oh I see it, and now
I’ve got the easy pass, able to expose the open court. Guys, sometimes the
best tactic you can use is the one you’re most afraid of. If you don’t like being at the net, simply get your opponent
up to the net, okay? So when they break down short, if you just aren’t comfortable
approaching and going in, go ahead and drop them short, okay? And with the slice, I’m
just basically blocking it. And as they come into the net, where they’re probably also uncomfortable, definitely at a 3.0 level,
being little bit shaky up there, at that point, we can
either look for the push, which was the lob, or
we can go for the pass. Notice, we showed you two examples, because it’s not guaranteed as the person your opponent is running in off your drop shot is going to hit deep and I needed that deep
ball to go for the lob. Sometimes they’re going to go
to look to pull you back in, and that’s where you’re
just going to stalk. They’re getting to the
ball late, rack it up, how much can they hurt you? So as they go to chip and leave it short, you’re right there. You’re looking to stalk and
put that passing shot away. – For sure. And guys, just to put a
pretty bow on this thing, we’re giving you two
solutions here, right. What we don’t want you to do is run up to the ball, hit it back deep, and run back to the baseline. When you get that short ball, we just want to see you do
one of two things, right. We want to see you either force
the pressure on your opponent, hit to the weaker side
and come in to the net, or like what we just talked
about in the last example, there’s a couple different options, where you can drop the ball
short to win the point, but what we don’t want to see
is when you get that short ball, you just poking it back deep and running back to the baseline. Hopefully this helps, as you guys know, Nate
and I at playyourcourt just want to see you improve your game. We don’t know a ton about
your specific skill level and obviously this video,
and this information is for really lower level players. So if you’re playing at a 4.0, 4.5, different type of skill level than this, then we need to know a
little bit more information, so we can send you
custom video instruction. And that’s actually what
the playyourcourt community is all about. So do us a favor, click the button or the link below, answer some questions for Nate and I about your specific skill level. Not only are we going to send
you weekly video instruction on the very specific things
that your skill level needs, we’re also going to pair you
with evenly matched players in your area, so that you
can get out on the court and practice all this stuff. Just click the button or the link below, we’ll get you signed up in the community, and we’ll get you improving
your tennis game in no time.

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