The NCAA's decision to adapt non ad scoring for competition has orchestrated controversy. Everyone asks, "how dare anyone threaten the purity of tennis and shorten our matches?" While these feelings of nostalgia and discontent are legitimate, the reality is at non ad scoring is here to stay. Now the tough question to tackle is how does one play non ad scoring tactically. In this post, I will detail how to psychologically and cerebrally play the non ad game.
In non ad scoring, one decisive point decides the game. It is , 'game point' for both players. In singles, the receiving player is rewarded with the opportunity to select which side they receive serve. This is a chance to return on your stronger side. Make note throughout the match where your opponent serves the ball frequently on each respective side. Based on this observation, select whichever side puts you in a position to hit a strong shot. For example, if you know that your opponent often serves to your lethal forehand on the deuce court, obviously you should elect to receive on the deuce court. Try to deduce which side you have been winning more points from throughout the games. Which side can I play my strongest game from? Which side can I create a better approach shot from? Essentially, ask yourself which side you feel you are better equipped to construct a point.
In doubles, the receiving team decides who will return the serve. Try to figure out who has been returning a higher percentage of serves and winning the point off of this particular server. In addition, ask yourselves which player has experienced more success poaching. Perhaps, it is in the team's best interest to have the stronger, more lethal poacher at the net. Sorry, this does involved a tad bit of humbling and humility. In mixed doubles, there is no choice on a deuce point. The man serves to the man and the woman serves to the woman.
In addition to tactically thinking about side selection, you need to prevent the kind of thinking that could psych you out of winning the sole decisive point. Change your attitude about the non-ad scoring system. Many players are alarmed by non-ad scoring. "How could only one point decide a game? Oh my gosh, it is so much pressure" are thoughts that echo in our heads. However, we can spin the one big point factor into a positive sentiment. Playing a maximum of seven points per game requires so much less effort than the output required for the everlasting twenty point plus games that sometimes occur. Think to yourself this is a positive change, this way I'll have more energy in reserve for a third set. Also, tell yourself that your opponent has to deal with the same pressure as you do when having to face a single, decisive point. In addition, if you are playing a stronger opponent, tell yourself that you only need to win one point once you get to deuce, not two points in a row.
I live by the philosophy that if we can't change the world, we must learn to adapt to it. The non-ad scoring rule fits this paradigm. This new scoring method will help you become more flexible.
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