Preparing tactical plan for the match

Every day many players get on the court to improve own skills. They take care of all the details that have impact on tennis performance because lack of one ability can limit their chances for good result during the tournament. Apart from quality of training sessions there is one more factor that has a big influence on player’s performance. It is tactical plan.

Tennis development consists of technical, tactical, physical and mental skills. Additionally players also have to take care of nutrition and recovery to make sure that body and mind can work optimally. Many players think that being better than the opponent means possessing better quality strokes, being faster or dealing more effectively with the stress. Of course all these factors are really important but how does it happen that even with these skills players lose to the theoretically inferior opponents? The answer lies in tactical approach. That is the hidden weapon.

In every sport tactical plan has to be implemented to increase chances for the final win. In soccer coach prepares the plan and draws it on the board for players. In basketball coaches show videos of the next opponent and talk about tactical possibilities while having a ball as also while defending the basket. In boxing boxer is aware of opponent’s strengths and prepares plan for the incoming battle. Tennis is no different. Successful tennis players always have a tactical plan that they want to execute on the court. They understand that pre-match preparation has impact on on-court performance so they put some time into creating effective plan.

It doesn’t matter at which level you play. If you compete in the tournaments you have to implement tactical plan to be properly prepared for the demands of the match. If you want to do it professionally you should use some of the basic tactical areas. Here they are:


Use own strengths

Every player has individual strengths. It is priority to be aware of own strengths so player can use them as often as possible. Some players play well while being inside the court. Other players move really fast so they can get to every ball. There are also athletes who deal effectively with crucial moments during the match and they are able to take own game to the highest level when it really counts. Discover your strengths and implement them into your plan every time you compete.


Capitalize on rival’s weaknesses

We all have strengths and weaknesses. At the first glance it can look that advanced rivals have only strengths but that is not true at all. Some weaknesses are visible immediately like faulty technique in forehand stroke while others need more time to discover like inability to play longer rallies effectively. By studying your opponent before or during the match you can get this important knowledge about weaknesses and base your tactical plan on putting more pressure on the opponent.


Serving patterns

Serve is the only stroke in tennis that you have full control over. You decide both about the technical part of the serve as also you can plan in advance tactical solutions that you are going to execute. By preparing some patterns including your strengths and opponent’s weaknesses you can take some pressure off your serve and increase quality of your service games. If you take a look at the best players in the world they always use specific but repetitive serving patterns while dealing with crucial balls while serving.


Have plan B

Even the best tactical plan doesn’t guarantee positive results. Tennis is an unpredictable sport where opponent’s performance can destroy your tactical plan and force you to make necessary changes. It is important to always have some back-up plan that will allow you to still win the match in case your first plan doesn’t work as expected. Few adjustments based on different tactical approaches can make it too difficult for the opponent to respond successfully.


To play a good match you need a plan. If you have plan you make a first step to get advantage over the opponent. Make sure that your pre-match preparation includes tactical planning because getting on the court without plan will increase the stress level, anxiety and also will definitely increase the number of unforced errors. In tennis there are not too many things 100 % under player’s control but planning own strategy is one of the things totally dependent on player.