Regardless of your level of play, being your own coach is largely based on common sense.
The first step in coaching yourself is to become aware of what mistakes you are making. Very often when you ask a player what went wrong in their match, they can’t tell you. They might say something like “I didn’t watch the ball” or, ” I didn’t follow through” or they might blame their racket.
A lot of things can happen in a tennis match that can effect your play, ranging from the weather conditions, to what your opponent is doing, to how you are feeling that day. While we can’t tell you what to do in every situation, we can give you the information you need to make your own adjustments.
The Four Mistakes
When the ball is struck, only one of five things can happen. The ball can go in the court, or it can go long, into the net, too far to the right or too far to the left.
This seems like a simple concept, but we continually see players of all levels make the same mistake over and over without making a correction. This usually ends with a frustrated player who might conclude that they just didn’t have it that day. With a little bit of knowledge and some practice you can avoid that outcome. Making the same mistake over and over again is not a very smart way to play. If you are going to make mistakes, and everyone does, then it would be better to make what we call intelligent mistakes.
In the next edition we will be looking at how to coach your own serve.