It is a great idea to formulate a strategy or plan prior to stepping on the court.
A game plan may be as simple as "hitting three or four crosscourt groundstrokes and being patient at the baseline". It could be to "serve and volley on all first serves, and work your way in to the net gradually on other points".
Remember to stick with your game plan especially if it is successful. Too often players give up on their initial idea if it is not working as well as they expected.
Try not to abandon your game plan if you are struggling at first. It may take some time for you to get into the match and execute your shots the way you would like.
If you have tried to follow your idea for some time (I would recommend at least a set) and are not happy with the results, try to adjust what you are doing rather than changing it completely. Persistence and improving your shot execution, combined with a good game plan will often give you a successful result.
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis (http://www.annaconetennis.com). For details on lessons and camps at Sag Harbor Park Tennis and throughout the Hamptons this summer contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com