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Coaching Tip of the Week: Strategic Tactics

(By Larry Hodges)

Tactical thinking is what you do to win now; Strategic Thinking is what you do to develop your game in the long run. You need both; here are two articles on this:

But there is also what I call Strategic Tactics. What are they? Suppose, in the first point of a match, you push the opponent’s serve back, he loops slow and super-spinny, and you block off. You could think, “That’s spinny! I better avoid it.” And so, tactically, you decide you have to attack his serve or push short over and over, even when you aren’t comfortable doing so – which puts you in a weaker tactical situation, since you are afraid to push long, even when the situation calls for it. Instead, perhaps intentionally push long on the second point, so that you can adjust to his spinny loop. If you do this, then you can get used to his spinny loop – and then you can go back to avoiding it when you can (attacking serve or pushing it short), while still having the option of pushing long when you need to. (Here’s How to Punish those Slow, Spinny Loops.)

There are many examples of this. If your opponent has a surface you aren’t very good at, or a very flat backhand, or very heavy push, rather than avoid it, play into these shots at first so that you get comfortable against them, and then go back to more tactical play.

 

 


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