Consistency Tips for Intermediate Players
Having become a solid player and moved away from playing against beginners, the next step is to establish yourself at intermediate level. When you first start competiting against players in the next level, you will probably lose your first few matches simply because of a lack of consistency. However, there is great enjoyment to be had from taking that step up and playing against intermediate players. Adopt the below consistency tips for intermediate players and learn to start beating players that you may otherwise lose to.
This first tip is to match the speed of the incoming ball. A tendency many intermediate players have is to think they must add more power to the ball every time it comes over the net. This is wrong. You do not need to keep adding power to the ball, especially if there is plenty of power being hit from your opponent, use that power! Even professional players are comfortable matching the speed that is already on the ball during a rally. You will give yourself a better chance of winning points at an intermediate level by matching the speed on the ball and concentrating on the style of the shot you want to play and the placement of that shot. Resist the urge to keep adding power to the ball on your side of the net.
Something which is often overlooked when providing consistency tips for intermediate players is footwork. Having the technical swing aspects of a shot in place is great but you will not be able to hit these shots consistently if you are always arriving at the tennis ball in different positions each time. If you find you are using the same stroke every time you hit a topspin forehand and have practiced it enough to know your technique is always correct yet still missing the shot, it could be a footwork issue.
If you have bad balance when playing shots you will always hit them differently and this leads to a lack of consistency. Practice different shots with your playing partner or coach and concentrate on your footwork and foot placement on every shot. Notice how you feel when you are hitting the shot well and when it goes wrong, stay where you are and check your foot placement. What was different?
The same can said for playing shots on the run. If you are on the defensive during a point and need to run to make the shot, what is your footwork like on approach to the ball? Even when you are running quickly to make a shot your footwork needs to be the same to ensure you are well balanced when contacting the ball. By working on your footwork and foot placement you will play with a lot more consistency. Use these consistency tips for intermediate players and see how your game develops and becomes more consistent on the court.
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