Play The Percentages toward better tennis |

Play The Percentages toward better tennis

Special to the DailyEd Jacques

Which attitude will get you further in tennis, consistency or aggressiveness? There is no question in my mind that consistency comes first and that through a careful cultivation of consistency, it is possible to build deadly aggressiveness when a player reaches maturity.

When he passes it, he has sound fundamentals to fall back on. Meanwhile, consistency will help a player to win matches now, and win them against the very players who take the opposite attitude and don’t have enough consistency to make their aggressiveness stick.Consistency is the ability to get the ball back over the net into the court one or more times than the other guy on slightly more than half the rallies in the match. To acquire consistency, a player must have deep concentration on the ball, speed in getting to it, and control of it when he gets there. Solid hitting from the center of the racquet makes it much better.The aggressive player is one who aims to win the majority of the points, if not outright, then by strongly forced errors. High risk is always present and the unrelenting aggressive player has his good days and his bad days.

Most players like to take an all-out whack at the ball, but the road to tennis success is very rocky for those who like to whack the ball all the time. The most extreme example I ever saw was a man in his 30s, who was obsessed with the idea of power on the tennis court. No rally could go more than three shots with him. If he served, the ball sometimes hit the net, but more often made it all the way to the fence on the fly.With most slammers, this tendency is more muffled, but just as persistent. The slammer likes to have his shots zoom past his opponent or handcuff him into mis-hitting. And one such shot every eight or 10 rallies seems to convince him that he is the better player and that the score can safely be ignored.

Three things can happen in the development of such a player. First, he may keep banging the ball and never come to terms with the game. Second, he may not change his attitude, but by playing so much, some steadiness settles into his play and his results get better for a while. Take away his extra practice time and he falls back out of contention in nothing flat. Third, however, some of them get religion and finally apply themselves to percentage tennis. Watch Roger Federer at this years Open. He is the epitome of zero percent tennis. Ed Jacques is a tennis pro and the tennis director at the Vail Racquet Club. For more information on percentage tennis, contact 970-476-4840.Vail, Colorado

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