Consistency
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Trounce the Opposition by Improving your Consistency:

A) Win More Matches
B) Beat Players with Higher Skills than you
C) Develop Unstoppable Confidence

What is consistency?

Itís doing the same thing over and over again. Itís not varying. In tennis it means to get the ball in the court. The more often you get the ball in the more points you are going to win.

Former world # 1 ranked player Bjorn Borg boiled down winning tennis to one simple idea, ďThe key to success in tennis is getting one more ball in play than your opponent.ď This seems like an overly simplistic statement but it shows how important Bjorn Borg feels consistency really is.

This article will focus on techniques you can use to instantly improve your consistency.

Tips:

A. To be consistent, simply play according to the definition of consistency. According to Websters, one way to define consistency is: Free from variation or contradiction. In tennis this means to stroke the ball in the same manner, over and over again.

When I was in college I went to play a tournament. For this tournament I decided to try something different. The idea just came to me. Why donít I find one basic way to hit my forehand and backhand and stick to that one way. I had at least 4 or 5 ways to hit a topspin forehand. Since I was hitting all of those different ways I never got consistent at any of my methods. So I decided to limit myself to doing an uncomplicated topspin forehand. It wasnít even my most powerful shot. I started using this technique at my first match in the tournament. Within a very short time I started gaining lots of confidence on my groundstrokes. I no longer had to think about how to hit my shots. I just hit them automatically and my subconscious took over. Well it turns out that I one of the top seeded players. In fact because I was so consistent my game improved in other areas as well and it allowed me to get into the zone. I ended up losing a very close 3 set match in the semifinals. At the time that was a fantastic result for me.

You can apply the same idea to your own game. Find one good way to hit a shot and do it exactly the same way over and over again. Hit it at the same speed, the same amount of spin, and the same backswing. Try to hit the ball at the same height every time. To do this you have to position yourself with the proper footwork. 

Using these techniques your shots will become automatic. Once youíre relieved of the pressure of having to think, you will be able to play without choking. You will be able to focus on strategy instead of stroke mechanics.

(Too Wristy) Many players use too much wrist in their groundstrokes and it kills their consistency. If you use a flat forehand you shouldnít use your wrist at all. For advanced players it is OK for them to use a little wrist rollover at the end of their topspin shot to add more spin and speed. But the wrist has to be used in a limited way. In tennis the safest way to develop power is actually in the legs and torso rotation. Too many players try to generate power with their arms and wrists.

Any beginner can tell you that they easily hit balls over the fence. In fact if you limit your shot to moving only your wrist you can still hit the ball over the fence. Wrist is great for racquetball, but you have to be careful when you use it in tennis. By the way, in order to generate power on serves and overheads you need to use as much wrist as possible.

 

 

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Last modified: March 07, 2005
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