Learning To Appreciate Your Opponents Play

Opponents in Tennis

A great deal of tennis points are lost to either unforced errors or bad shots, not because the opponent has hit an ace. When you are learning about the game forget about trying for the big winner all the time, you would be far better working with your tennis coach on how to cut out errors in your game.

As you progress as a student your attitude does tend to change, and as you reach a higher level you naturally become more aware of your opponent’s skills. You may find that you are still making mistakes but this is due to the skill and kind of shots your opponent is playing.

Situations such as your opponent firing a powerful shot at your feet as you charge the net which restricts your ability to play your net volley. Or they deliberately target your body restricting your reaction time, and limiting you to defensive shots.

When these types of situations come about, then you just have to accept that you are playing a highly skilled opponent and not get angry at losing the point.

Recognise Your Improvements

Not being able to return the ball after a skilful shot by your opponent is not a failure. You must focus on the positive aspects of the match, such as lack of unforced errors and mistakes.

Some players when reaching this stage of their development fail to recognise that their error was a result of a good shot being played by the other player, they just get frustrated because they have lost the point.

It is quite a common trait amongst tennis players to blame themselves if things go against them. And this is where frustration can creep into their game and they start to lose their composure.

Factors Out Of Your Control

Many factors, both on and off the court, can be out of your control. These things get amplified and blown out of proportion and self blame floods your mind. This blame can lead to anxiety and can severely limit your playing style.

Most good coaches will try and get you to focus on the positive things and the good aspects of your game. And not to focus on anything that is directly out of your control. This is good advice and you have to keep on reminding yourself of it when you step out on court.

Listen to the seniors in your club or watch the professionals when they play. They are frequently giving praise to an ace or good shot that is simply too good to return. These top players recognise quality tennis play and realise that their opponent has done something special in playing a particular shot.

So the next time you are playing and get lobbed at the net, think about the skill of the shot your opponent has used and don’t blame yourself for being wrong. The key factor is to remember that your opponent has that particular shot at his disposal and learn from it.