STEPHEN & ROSS - Tips & Pointers

Have added a few pointers ….some repetition, overlap of tips but continual reminders - may help?!

September 2014
- Both in the pairing keep good track of the score line. Help each other. The onus is on the server ;-)
- Consistency - we all know this :-)
- Not over-trying, over-hitting if it typically goes long.
- Protecting tram-line & moving together - if your partner is moved out to the tramline, you need to protect the middle even more…
- Waiting for the right time - not rushing for winners.
- Not trying "clever" shots if for example 4 out of 5 times it fails. That 1 success to 4 fails…. The ratio is wrong ;-)
- The Stats - it's a numbers game. We all know that strong 1st serves are important. High percentage in. Weak 2nd serves get "killed". That is not a great experience for your partner. Of course, double faults are to be avoided.
- To repeat, winning our serves make up HALF the games/points. Then just need to break their serve and the job is done!
- Not giving away cheap points through unforced errors.
- The percentages - Stephen ran through with us during our round robin end of August.
- Watching the ball to the last moment and not looking over the net to see where you are going to hit.
- Baseliner setting it up for their partner at the net & the net player not wasting any sitters or "gifts".
- If oppo both rush to the net to first drive a low hard ball through the middle and lob in a later phase if needed (lob is more risky and you first like to put the problem with them and try out their volleying). But "avoid giving them an easy (high) volley" at all cost. (Lobbing will be "killed" by strong teams who are good at overheads….).
- If your return is short, watch your tramline.
- Come to the net as soon as possible to bring yourself in an attacking position (but watch the lobs, so not too close).
- Staying "in the zone" - focus & concentration & determination - just about sums it up!

Training over Chinese New Year, Feb 2013

- Match practice - going through the middle shot - if ever in doubt, do that. BUT keep it low over net & strong\firm, not high for volley opportunity for opposition

- Keep the ball in play. Don't rush trying to do a winning shot.

- Don't fritter points on poor returns of serve i.e. duffing into net, wildly out.

- Decide early what type of shot given where the ball lands on your side. E g if ball falls deep near baseline a more defensive shot…or a shorter ball before service line - take the opportunity for an attacking shot…

- Drill we did: decide soonest - if you
Raleigh the shot (or is it rally?!!)
Attack the shot
Defend the shot
RAD !!

So……know which ball u want to attack! And which u want to strike nicely but in control

- Baseliner is the support role. Keep ball in play. Cross court best! Keep it going. Even count - try to get 4 ..5 back over. Big emphasis at training on keeping that ball in play. BUT BUT, go for tramline should you feel confident & you see that gap.

Baseliner to SET up the opportunity for their partner, net player.

Baseliner the Support Act. Net player The Star!!

Baseliner is THE GOALKEEPER. Last point of defense!

Again, keep the ball in play. Baseliner to create the chances and not too much risk.

Constant communications between points. Rev each other up. Agree strategy before the serve.

Focus on the process - point by point

Show opponent u r smart and know what you are doing !!!! (This came via Karin & her coach Johnny!)…

Stephen's Catchphrases:

Through the Middle Solves the Riddle

We've got ALL DAY (keep that rally going)

We've got all the time in the world (to not rush into your shot and be badly positioned - early FOOTWORK!!)

Footwork. Footwork. Footwork! Split-step.

Some pointers from Stephen:

  • Server : high percentage of first serve in is important.
  • Return of Serve : you only have 2 options - cross court return or down the line - think about where you want to return before the point and stay committed - hit it firm (and deep) and your opponents will struggle.
  • Receivers - high percentage of returns into play - approach the net on their second serves. Attack!
  • When the opponent comes (both) to the net: drive first two balls hard down the middle, 3rd you can lob - "down the middle solves the riddle " - particularly like this one from Stephen! -
  • Get to the net before the opposition - high volleys at the net player, low volleys back to baseliner
  • Don't poach on our 2nd serve! Cover tramline.
  • High volleys are chances for you to win the point and are to be struck at the net player aiming passed the service line for best results. Low volleys cannot be hit for winners and thus are to be sent back to the baseliner
  • Don't jump for a volley, if the volley is very difficult leave the ball for the baseliner - best volleys are struck when totally balanced, meaning 2 feet on the ground
  • If they lob frequently - still come to the net, but wait at the service line (and not too close to the net). Expect the lob, smash without anger until a "sitter" or easy chance comes before putting the ball away

Some pointers from Ross:

  • Reduce Unforced Errors - count them!
  • Keep the ball in play
  • Don't give away cheap shots!**
  • Footwork & Balance - so important. Be grounded to strike ball.
  • Raquet back early as you move

- hold raquet firmly on your 2nd serve for good control
- spaghetti arms for serving - don't be rigid, relax arms
- go for it! Attack net player on a weakish 2nd serve :-) A powerful hit.

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