If you are expanding your game and trying to play attacking tennis, you will be attempting to rush the net at the earliest possible moment. But one of the hardest things to learn about net playing is trying to judge what type of shot your opponent is returning.
Remember, at the net you have far less time to react to your opponent’s shots and you will have to learn clues from his body language.
There are three main general areas of net play that you have to study and break down into more specifics. These are the levels of play, the principles of net play and the principles of learning net play.
Experienced players already know reading the opponent’s body language and the way the hold the racket will give important clues in what sort of shot they are going to play.
Whereas the less experienced players find this hard to do, but by following certain principles they can start to learn. So the way you play has a direct connection of how you learn to play.
The Principles Of Learning
By watching professionals play the amateur player can get important clues on how to base their own game. Especially in the situation of trying to guess what type of shot the opponent is going to play.
However, top players do not learn this anticipation through coaches, they learn through experience. It may have taken years to learn this skill by playing many different opponents and studying their game.
So, keep to the core principles and do not get frustrated, learn from your own experiences and by watching professional players.
Net Play Principles
Net Play is really all about experience and using your senses to the utmost degree. The good players to not always move at what they see in their opponent’s body language, they move through sense.
There are certain tell-tale signs that will help you try to anticipate and to give your senses a clue to act upon.
Watch carefully the opponent’s: Body position, the way the are holding the racket and what the racket face position is, the ball position, the score in the game and the pattern of play the opponent has been using.
All of the above tends to happen very quickly, but a professional can compute the data instantly and make his call. But for a more junior player to translate all this information then they must have a relaxed brain to filter out the important factors.
For players to develop their anticipation skills at the net the main area to improve is simply experience. There are no short cuts in developing your net play, just increase your court time more and play as many different opponents as possible. When you are with your tennis coach you can practice the necessary shots needed at the net, but this must be in tandem with constant match play.
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