Stop playing your best shot
Before you continue reading, stop for a moment and decide what your best shot is. To be honest, I found that quite difficult to decide. Not because I have so many great shots but because they are all average.
In addition, your best shot might not be your favourite and separating your best from your favourite can be tricky.
Okay, so let’s assume you have decided. Why stop playing it?
One of the great things about playing in leagues, ladders and tournaments is that you face new and unknown players. They each pose different challenges.
What WILL happen at some point in the future, or has already happened, is that a player will negate your best shot.
Let me give you a personal example, but in this case I am the negating player. Back in the day, I played lots of graded tournaments, one a few, didn’t win most. There was a player who used to have a great low and hard forehand drive that took its second bounce near the back of the service box. Basically, if you didn’t hit it very early, it was a winner.
Luckily for me, I was pretty quick in lateral stretching and found the shot perfect for a flat drop or a boast if it wasn’t tight enough. The problem for my opponent was that this was his best (and favourite) shot and when that was negated he really didn’t have much else to offer – no disrespect intend.
Against most players it was a winner 90% of the time, so he never developed other areas of his game and that’s why I want you to stop playing your best shot.
It’s too easy to become dependent on shots like that.
When you stop using it, you have to improve other areas of your game. Of course, in important matches you must use it, but in practice games try to avoid it.
Over the course of this season, let’s see if you can have two “best” shots that compliment each other.