I want to talk to you about style. And I don’t mean clothes. Do you know what style of tennis you play? My Wilson rep recently showed me their new racket technology customized for the three styles of play: the baseliner, the attacker and the net player.
Baseliners are people who never come to the net unless they have to. They are fast on their feet and hover just behind the baseline for every shot. They are consistent, patient and in good shape. They don’t take a lot of chances. They wait for their opponents to make the mistakes, and they make few mistakes themselves. Baseliners hit the ball deep in the court, and they have the ability to stay on the court as long as it takes to wear you out.
Attackers look to take advantage of short balls or mistakes. They drive the ball into a corner and follow it in. They take more risks on short balls and hit more aggressively more often. Balls that float toward them will be taken out of the air with an offensive volley that they follow in to the net. The attacker likes overheads and typically puts them away.
Net players live at the net. They have good volleys and good overheads. They are quick, and they plan ways to get to the net whenever they are at the baseline. They can chip and charge, or they can slice the ball and move forward. A net player is always looking for a way to take the ball out of the air. They serve and volley, always follow a lob to the net, and have effective approach shots.
Most of the pros you see on tour stay back on the baseline. Very few true serve-and-volley players are left. Even the attackers have to be picky about what shots they come in behind.
You have to recognize what style tennis you play in order to improve. I love to beat players by making them do something they are uncomfortable doing or are unable to do. If you don’t know what kind of player you are, come see me. And if you do know what kind of player you are, come see me. We have some work to do either way.
See you on the courts!
Tracy Townsend is a resort Tennis expert and his company, 30A Tennis, manages Seaside Tennis on behalf of the Seaside Community Development Corp. You can reach him at email@example.com or call (850) 231-2214. For news events and court conditions, find Seaside Tennis on Facebook.
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