Coaches and players often put a lot of emphasis on scouting their next opponent. This can be helpful, but it can sometimes lead to over-thinking your strategy based on the opponent's strength and weakness. It is much better to focus on your own strengths and weaknesses, and design a game plan accordingly.
Going along with this idea, it is also very important to try and work on and improve your weaknesses, but also to practice your strengths. This will help give you the confidence to stick with your weapon or preferred style of play during competition. I
In a match, a player should focus on using their strength and covering up their weaknesses, rather than adjusting to the other player's game. You can always make some adjustments during the match if things are not going quite as you had planned. Keep reminding yourself to be aggressive if you are an aggressive player, and patient if you are a more consistent player.
One of the first steps to becoming a great player is to use what you are good at as often as possible. Your opponent may have something to say about your ability to do this but try to be persistent and make your opponent adjust to you, rather than completely changing your game because of their style of play.
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis (http://www.annaconetennis.com) and MyHamptonsPro based in Sag Harbor, NY (http://www. myhamptonspro.com) and Tennis Professional at Ventana Canyon Golf and Racquet Club in Tucson, AZ. For details on lessons, clinics, or coaching, contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 865-300-7323