- 1/3 of your practice against people better than you.
It inspires you to get better and you may learn some things from them. However, if you play ALL your matches against people who are better Than you, then you are just practicing losing.
- 1/3 of your practice against people at the same level as you. It teaches you competitiveness and how to play under pressure.
- 1/3 of your matches against people at a lower level than you. It gives you practice winning as well as being on the offensive. Often times, there is more pressure when you are playing someone you know you can beat. It takes experience to learn how to be the dominating player.
WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE OFF
If you’re missing, it's always a safe bet to put a ton of margin-of-error on your ball until you get your groove back: Hit it really high with as much topspin as possible. Get consistent. Find your groove and then when you feel confident again, bring it down a bit (drive more and lower over the net) but only on the appropriate balls such as the balls that are shorter (You’re inside the baseline) and are above net height. Other balls where you're not in as good a position, hit with plenty of arc and spin, with the goal of just neutralizing the point, as you should be doing anyway when you're in a bit more trouble.
It's so important to get the good basics from the start. It takes exorbitantly more time and effort to change a bad habit than it does to ingrain a good habit from the beginning. Once those good habits are in there, every time you play, you will be improving and grooving those basics, even without a pro present. That can really cut down on the time (and $) it takes to get to a nice level. In the long run, an inexpensive pro could, quite possibly, cost you more time, money and frustration and, ultimately, stunt the upper level which you could achieve.
Balance is a key aspect for any good groundstroke. Ideally you want your upper body to remain rather straight, your head very still, and then you rotate around this axis which does not move.
What happens all too often is that players are moving all over the place while hitting their groundstrokes. One common mistake is to move the body back to the middle while hitting, before the shot is actually finished!
In order to avoid this you should practice hitting and finishing on balance. What I mean by this is that you hit your shot, forehand or backhand, and afterwards you stand still on balance for about a second. This usually helps a lot in cleaning up your strokes!
More tips to come.......!!!