Photo credit: Front Row Studios -2017 Australian Open Grand Slam Coaches Conference
Situation Training (ST) is a practical application of the international coaching trend called the Game-based approach. It allows players to learn the tactics and techniques required for successful play in real-life situations.
ST is about learning tennis situationally. It logically integrates tactics and technique. It helps coaches evolve from being ‘stroke coaches’ to ‘game coaches.’ In contrast to ‘stroke-coaching,’ ST is about helping players learn to expand the library of situations they can handle during play.
This article will delve into the tactical categories and specific shots for the Both-Back Point Situation. The goal is to identify the most common shot situations that allow players to dominate baseline play.
To indicate the location of the action, we will split the court into 3 lateral ‘Lanes’ (Deuce Lane, Centre Lane, Ad Lane). We will not cover all possible shots but a basic package that all players need to master.
For Both-Back situations, 3 basic tactical ‘packages’ need to be trained. Each has several specific shots attached to them:
- Control the Centre Lane
- Control the Crosscourt (Deuce & Ad Lane Exchanges)
- Re-direct/Receiving a Re-direct
To dominate in Both-Back situations, it is a good tactic to identify if a player has an advantage from a specific diagonal (E.g. the player is winning more points when in an Ad Lane crosscourt exchange). They then combine crosscourts, re-directs and centre shots to consistently get into the diagonal that provides more advantage.