Here are 10 “Pocket Plans” you can copy and paste to your mobile notepad. In case things aren’t working, you can use these to mix things up and sway the match momentum back your way. Good Luck!
- “The Bully”. Take the dominant player out of the game by targeting their weaker partner. Going strong at the weak link will diminish confidence in their ability to hold their own in a lopsided partnership and frustrate the better player who isn’t getting involved.
- “Mars Attacks”. Playing a moon baller? Attack your opponents moon balls out of the air as overheads, drive volleys/swinging volleys or standard volleys. Not letting the ball bounce takes time away from your opponents and will keep your court positioning more aggressive. Follow to net where possible and don’t be afraid to go right at the opposing net player!
- “Kill them softly”. Force baseliner’s out of their comfort zone with short, low stuff. Chip it low and be ready to pounce on the dug up reply. Work over the net strap with angle crosscourt for best results. Tip: You must be able to disguise this touch shot with an aggressive looking set up and hidden grip change (continental).
- “Red Line”. Take poaching by your opponents out of the equation by attacking down the line on 2nd serves and short groundstrokes. Use your feet to create your best shot (e.g Run around backhands for forehands) and be aggressive and be sure to keep the ball low. A high ball is easily picked off by the net player. Use this tactics successfully and watch the opponent at net shrink into the alley opening up the middle of the court!
- “The Lobster”. Lob the net player to force a formation switch and create some chaos down the other end. Make sure you are opportunistically looking to attack the net and the net player already there is ready to take anything easy through the middle.
- “Solve the Riddle”. Attack everything down the middle. The middle is the biggest target on the court. It will bring your opponents together and create openings for your next shot to the outsides. Because this is such a big target you must stay aggressive with your strokes and be ready to hit the gaps after the set up.
- “Chip and Charge”. A classic old school attack. Slice it low and go. Contact the return early and chew on the net strap. You absolutely must commit to this tactic. Great when your opponent is under some scoreboard pressure (e.g 30-40,Ad out).
- “Serve and Volley”. The original first strike tactic. A great surprise for returners who like to float the return. To execute this tactic you need to be able to draw weaker replies from your opponents return. Either by pace, location, or movement. Avoid this tactic on 2nd serves if you have a weaker 2nd.
- “2 Back to get it Back”. Having trouble returning your opponents serve without their net player eating your reply? Start 2 back on return and get it in. This way your partner won’t get grilled on the 3rd ball, you will make the net player change their target to a touch shot and you can extend the rally. Get back to net when/if you can. This tactic pairs well with a deep lob return.
- “The Chameleon”. Start either serving or returning in one formation and change back to another once the ball is in play (e.g Aussie formation > Standard). This optical illusion influences where your opponents intended targets are and can often lead to free points off misses and easy volley put aways. Make sure your partner is on the same page!
Get out and practice these tactics so you can mix them in next time things aren’t going as smoothly as you would have liked. Sometimes throwing the kitchen sink at your opponent is exactly what you need to do to sway momentum and get back into the match.
See you on the courts!
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