One of my regular “mental mistakes” is trying to make a shot just too good. And all too often a much safer shot would still win the point.
The Drop Volley
Here’s the scenario… You are at the net in either singles or doubles and you have driven your opponent off the court. They make a weak reply and you attempt to hit just “the perfect” drop volley. Except the trouble is… your drop volley drops on your side of the net.
My regular New Hampshire doubles partner Bob Wilkie is a master of the soft touch drop volley and says, “It just doesn’t have to be that good.” Drop the ball into the front half of the opponent’s service box and odds are they still won’t get to it. And if they do, they will probably just pop it up.
Hitting To The Open Court
Another scenario… you are playing singles and drive your opponent wide into the deuce court alley to retrieve your nice approach shot. You follow your shot to the net and are getting ready to hit their weak reply into the open court. Out of the corner of your eye, you see them start back in the direction of the open ad court; so you go for that killer angle put-away. My young, speedster friend Marc VanDam would often remind me when I missed that shot, “It just doesn’t have to be that good.”
So to improve your winning percentage, make your shot “worse” and you will have a better outcome.
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