Gio (16) is a high level junior player and today I introduced him to the First Strike Point Games and Challenges. The full content is included in my new online course. Click here –> Transforming Your Practice
You’ll find as a player and coach that challenging practice with scoring systems that correlate with the Average Point Rally Data can be a powerful and transforming experience. As I wrote about in the blog – Numb2rs – the number 2 is the most powerful number in tennis. Re-engineering practice drills into challenges that push a player outside their comfort zones will enhance the overall practice time. Theses types of practice spur on a player to re-think and re-analyze their own strengths and weaknesses in relationship with 2-shot pattern building combinations. The need to hit a “finishing shot” becomes a sidebar issue because the player becomes accustom to the anticipation that each shot they play sets up a new shot to be played again. The pressure to finish a point becomes somewhat obsolete and the focus becomes more of playing each shot in the moment with the expectation that the point is not over until it’s really over. The assuming “this ball is not coming back” is done away with in the mind of a player and is replaced with “Play the next shot with the same amount of energy and intensity”. Anticipating your shot coming back means that you are never surprised or caught off guard. The First Strike Point Game is a gateway challenge to help launch a player deeper into the zone or play state to perform and play their best in 2-shot combinations.