Match Play Strategy
E.J.T. makes match play strategy a huge priority since this is where we breed success. It is very evident with today’s juniors that so much emphasis is placed on technical development, when match time rolls around juniors are left stranded wondering how to develop points.
Understanding our own game is the primary key focus. Once we have established ‘our’ game, we can then begin to structure points so we can assert our strengths on our opponents, and thus develop a point that favors us.
Awareness becomes a primary focus too. We must be aware of what is taking place on the other side of the net. The following questions we should be asking ourselves:
What are my opponent’s weaknesses?
What are my opponent’s strengths?
What type of game do ‘they’ like to play?
What type of game will ‘they’ struggle to compete against?
Once you have the answers to these very simple questions, it will be a matter of asserting a game plan that will take your opponent out of their comfort zone, and executing that game plan; Coaches often refer to this as asserting your will on your opponent.
Better players have the ability to adapt during a match; Coaches will refer to this as ‘finding a way to win’. While it is crucial that you execute a game plan that gives you the most efficient and effective way to win, you may have to adapt it slightly if your opponent makes adjustments to ‘their’ game plan.
At E.J.T. we constantly provide feedback during match play scenarios, to make our juniors better understand what they should be thinking about before a point, during a point, and after a point. We challenge them in stipulation and situational set play, and make them repeat pattern play in order for it to become 2nd nature to them.