So it's time to get serious. You know the shots of the game and you can hit them with accuracy, but now you need to be able to execute them with far greater time constraints.
Progression to and beyond the advanced level has a great deal to do with efficiency of movement. Being able to execute all of the strokes with less time requires good footwork patterns. Having a choice of good strokes cannot be produced without a good position on the ball, and of course a good position on the ball cannot be achieved without good footwork. Furthermore, you have to replicate these footwork patterns again and again without getting tired at a rate faster than your opponent. These patterns can be learned and whilst speed can be an advantage, it is more about efficiency of movement that is dependent on rhythm and timing.
And then there are the more complex tactical concepts that must be understood to be able to progress further and compete with the professionals.
Do you understand the intricacies of correct shot selection? How does your opponent's "T" position influence your shot selection? How does the flow of your opponent's body weight through their shot dictate whether you attack or defend on yours? When should you positional drive, and when should you go for the fading length? When should you hold your shot at the front of the court and when should you take the ball early? When should you push forward in the court to play a higher "T" position, and when should your "T" position move off to the side?
How do you read your opponent's swing and/or their movement on to the ball to be able to cut down the number of different shots that you have to cover? Can you use combinations of shots to set "traps" for your opponent? Do you know how to change pace and break your opponent's rhythm? How can you use your movement to and from the ball to dictate your opponent's movement and therefore put you at an advantage? How do you use body position and space to create wider open lanes for your winning shots?
With hard work and dedication you can learn how to move efficiently, and develop the tactical understanding necessary to make the jump from a 5.0 payer to a 5.5 player, or from a 5.5 player to a 6.0 player - even if ou have been stuck at the same level for a good while. Coach Allen can teach you everything you need to know to play at the highest levels of the game.
Mark Allen E-mail: Mallen@boarsheadresort.com Tel:434-972-7424