Downshift Upshift

Many beginner/intermediate players come out “full swinging”. As soon as their match or training session starts, they come out trying to play like Roger Federer, pulverizing each ball, trying to hit it as hard as they can. Soon they find themselves only starting to miss, making a ton of unforced errors.  If you set the bar too high, the only way you can go is down!

When you start out on court, start slow and work your way up. Think of tennis like riding a mountain bike. Start on gear 1, once you pick up speed you shift to gear 2, gear 3, you keep on shifting until you reach top speed. What about when you encounter a hill, or some form or resistance? You down shift! Maybe go back to gear 2, maybe even go back to gear 1, surely once you pick up speed you will work your way up again. 

We need to approach their matches and hitting sessions like this. When you feel good, increase speed, when you feel bad ease off. If you miss a couple of serves in a row “downshift” (take speed off). If you start to get consistent with your serve “upshift” (increase speed). 

Some matches you will find out that you will not even have to go up to gear 7! One time you may be able to beat a player on gear 2 or 3. Only shift up when needed. Many pros use this technique, think of Nadal playing a first round match against a qualifier (During this match Nadal might not exceed gear 2) versus Nadal playing Djokovic in the final. (During this match Nadal might go as high as gear 10!) Give this a try next time you are on court!

-Philadelphia Tennis Lessons, Video Tennis Lessons, TenniswithTyler, Instagram @tenniswithtyler

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