By having a set number of responses and therefore making a quick and conscious decision means you are more likely to make it happen.
Which brings us to the next section, shot selection:
You basically have to select one of three types of shots depending upon your situation:
- You can choose to RALLY
- You can choose to ATTACK
- You can choose to DEFEND
Let's say you choose to defend, one of your stock shots or responses could be to make a passing shot down the line or maybe a lob.
This may seem obvious to some players, but the amount of people I see who try to hit an attacking winner when they really should be thinking about defending is far too many.
They lose the point and then start screaming about how bad they are playing when, in fact, the problem is quite simply the wrong shot selection.
All you have to do is develop a few shot selections (that you execute well) to each of situation (defend, rally and attack) and repeat them time and again.
If you are reading the point situation correctly and using shot selections that you can execute with minimal thinking, how can you not play well?
Putting It All Together
Let's finish things off by illustrating how to put situations and shot selection together in your game to increase your chances of success.
It's the start of the match and you win the coin toss and choose to serve.
So, you start with the situation of serving. You then go with the shot selection of one of your favorite serves: a flat serve down the center of the court.