Wednesday, April 20, 2011

7 Tactical Subcomponents - USPTA Tip of the Week

This week's tip covers the tactical component, which involves the variables a player implements during a point, such as power, spin and placement. Where a player hits a shot, how early he takes it, the speed and trajectory at which he hits a shot and the type of shot he chooses to hit all require the implementation of certain tactics. A player's use and combination of tactics with every shot create an overall strategy.
The seven tactical subcomponents are: consistency, placement, patterns, spins, power, shot selection and competitive situations.

   I found a great video to share - by USPTA Professional Jim Parker, in my opinion a key point that he makes in this video is that 80% of points played, end in unforced errors. If you combine that fact with the reality that you only need to win 51% of the points in a tennis match to win,  you should have a winning combonation. Of course, you'll need to build on this by applying and improving your skills using the 7 tactical subcomponents. Listed below.  Check out the video here:  

Consistency is a player's ability to get the ball back more times than the opponent using optimum pace and control, while hitting shots to a specific target or area without error.
Placement represents the ability to hit the ball to the selected target. It allows a player to run the opponent, pick on his weaker side, wrong-foot him or hit into the open court.
Patterns are combinations of shots and shot sequences utilized during a point that emphasize a player's strengths and exploit the opponent's weaknesses.
Spin is simply the direction the ball is rotating when it comes off the racquet. Spin can be manipulated by the path and angle of the racquet face at contact, and it allows a player to control the speed and trajectory of his shot, making it more accurate.
Power is the amount of speed put on a shot and the ability to develop pace on a ball. It is generated through the combination of a player's strength and the kinetic chain. It is imparted on shots for both offensive and defensive purposes.
Shot selection is a player's ability to recognize what is going on in the point, understand the shot options available to him and choose the best possible shot based on all the information he has gathered. It requires fast thinking and split-second decision making.
When faced with a competitive situation in a match, it is essential for a player to know how to best select his tactics and shots to play and win the next point or game. Mental focus and toughness play a significant role into choosing the right shot, going with the proper patterns, and using optimum placement and consistency.

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