Helping juniors get game

When the kids I coach walk off the court after a match, I often ask how many unforced errors they made — because we know the player with the most number of unforced errors will lose the match. To be frank, they don’t know.
A recent juniors match serves as a good example. The teenaged boy I coached had lost the match by a narrow 5-7 margin. He was very disappointed. Because I had used the My Tennis Stats application to track his match, I could show him where, exactly, he needed to continue working on his game — and how he could capitalize on the weaknesses of his opponent. The application showed that the boy’s opponent had missed 83 percent of all backhand returns, but my player had served there only six times.
After a week of practice focused on serving a high percentage overall (to lower the likelihood of double faults) and a well-placed serve to the backhand, my young player faced the same opponent the following week. His first serve percentage rocketed to 65 percent, and he hit a whopping 14 serves to the opponent’s backhand, forcing nine errors. He won the match 6-2.

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