“THE ABILITY TO QUICKLY CHANGE YOUR AWARENESS AROUND TO FOCUS ON DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE GAME IS A KEY TO PLAYING WELL”
You need the ability to shift your awareness around as you play. Each shot requires a slightly different focus, no stroke is the same.
Here are some of the main areas you need to send your awareness to as you play a match. Some of the areas mention surprise you. Tennis is not just about awareness of the ball and your opponent… this game is much more complicated than that!
1. Positional Awareness
Because you are playing the ball from different places within the court you need to shift your awareness to where you are standing sometimes.
This is even more important when you are in less familiar territory such as very deep off the baseline or very wide on either side of the court.
When you are made to play from these “awkward” positions on the court, shifting your awareness to where you are standing will help you factor in the height of the net, the distance to the baseline and the type of spin required.
2. Ball Awareness
The ball tells you everything. It tells you when to move back (for deep balls), when to move forward (short balls) and the timing you will need to adjust to (slow or fast ball) I like to think of it as similar to the relationship between music and dance. When seperated, they are almost comical, but when coordinated can be beautiful.
Therefore, an awareness of the ball is critical to playing well
3. Opponent Awareness
Opponent awareness covers both where you should hit the ball (hopefully where your opponent is not, or where they least like the ball!) and the type of ball you should hit to your opponent (tactical)
Far too many players are concerned only with what THEY are doing. Developing opponent awareness will take your game to the next level.
4. Racquetface Awareness
If I was only allowed to give just one tip to a player it would be… develop your awareness of your racquet head. With this awareness you can become a magician on the court.
The racquet head is the surface the ball takes its instructions from. If a player has no feel or control of their racquet head they will never reach a higher level
Great awareness of your racquet head is more important than footwork! Be a magician!
To play well you must be constantly monitoring yourself.
Awareness of your technique, confidence levels, fitness levels and the type of strategy you are using are all important during a match.
Self awareness is the root of genuine confidence.