From Daniel Spatz’s Class at the 2010 PTR Symposium
Defining the words!
STRATEGY: The overall game plan. The general idea about how you are going to play that particular match.
Basically there are three main strategies:
- Overpower the opponent (by attacking from the baseline and also coming to the net)
- Outlasting the opponent ( you want out rally him by being more consistent)
- Outthinking the opponent ( you want to vary he game by producing different shots and also changing the direction constantly)
The strategy has to be based on the following factors:
a) The style of the player vs the style of the opponent (the match up)
b) Level of the player.
c) Personality of the player.
c) Age/ Size/ Strength
d) Level of confidence that given day.
e) Who is the opponent? Did they play before? First time?
f) How well prepared the player is for that match?
g) The surface where the match will be played (hard, clay, indoors, grass)
h) Weather conditions (wind, temperatures, altitude)
- TACTICS: How we are going to implement the strategy.
Has to be based on the following factors:
a) Capabilities and liabilities of the player.
b) Preferences when executing certain shots.
c) Ability to create shots.
d) Previous preparation of these tactics.
PATTERNS OF PLAY: The specific combinations of shots to achieve the intended tactic. Also, the specific and individual response to a given shot.
IMPLEMENTING THE STRATEGY/ TACTICS AND PATTERNS
Sample Number 1 when preparing a match:
Strategy: Playing against a very solid baseliner, quick mover, very patient, play with a lot of spin, generally serves with slice and topspin. Loves to play long points, and also counter attack very well.
Overall plan: TO MOVE HIM AROUND AND ALSO TO DICTATE PLAY, ATTACKING THE SHORT BALLS. OVERPOWER /OUTTHINK
# Controlling the center of the court by moving him around
# Sneak in attack
# Bringing him forward to the net
# Imposing the big forehand to dictate play
# Occasionally serve and volley to surprise him
# Backhand pattern to establish order and set up the pattern
# Attacking the second serves
# Wrong foot play, to keep him off balance
# Serve out wide, 2nd shot to the open court
# Serve to the body or T, 2nd shot dictate favorite shot
# Forehand from the center of the court
# Short slice backhand to bring him forward
# Inside out & inside in forehand
# Backhand cross court& backhand down the line
# Short angle/ sneak in attack
# Topspin serve and volley to surprise
# Big down the line to open the court .Twofold: wrong foot or open court play
# 3 to the backhand and change to the forehand Twofold: wrong foot or open court play
# Deep & short combo
# Specific attacking return of serve shots
Sample number 2
Strategy: Playing against a very aggressive baseliner, big serve and forehand, takes the ball on the rise, dictate play, loves down the line shots and likes to finish points at the net too. Likes short points. Not very patient when the rally gets long.
Overall Plan: TO BE VERY CONSISTENT, GREAT DEFENSE, KEEPING THE BALL AWAY HIS FAVORITE STRIKE ZONE, VARYING THE SHOTS TO CONFUSE HIM. OUTLAST- OUTTHINK
# To serve to the weaker side and to the body
# Cross court rally to force him to change directions
# Mix up the spins, pace and directions
# deep neutralizing shots to force him to hit one more ball
# Great defense to frustrate him , keeping the shots deep!
# Slice backhand to keep the ball low and force errors
# Dictate play using favorite shots
# Neutralizing big first serves
# Slice backhand cross court, changing down the line to the forehand
# Heavy loopy shots to push him back
# Slice backhand when pulled out wide
# Counter attacking shots instead playing a passive defense to surprise him
# Aggressive forehand to dictate
# Slice serve to the body
# Out wide serve to pull him out of the court
# Blocking big first serves or hitting deep down the middle
ANALYZING THE OPPONENT
1. BIG SERVER?
2. SECOND SERVE QUALITY.
3. RETURN OF SERVE TENDENCIES.
4. BASELINE STYLE. ONE –DIMENSIONAL? FOREHAND PLAYER? CONSISTENT? AGGRESSIVE? ALL COURT? CRAFTY?
5. QUALITY WHEN HITTING FROM THE BASELINE VS MY QUALITY. CAN I CONTROL HIS SHOTS WELL? CAN I DICTATE PLAY?
7. ANY NOTICIABLE WEAPON?
8. ATTITUDE IN GENERAL: POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE?
INTENSITY- FIGHTING SPIRIT- REFUSE TO LOSE ATTITUDE?