Finding weaknesses in your opponents’ game is a byproduct of analyzing their game.
Strengths, tendencies, and habits are also things we’ll glean when we analyze a new opponent.
So, what do we ACTUALLY look for when analyzing our opponents? Let’s take a look!
Just the way your opponent holds their racquet can give you some valuable information.
Western or semi-western forehand grips will (usually) produce more topspin.
An eastern forehand grip will (again, usually) produce a flatter stroke.
As you start taking note of grips, you’ll develop your own feel for what you should expect.
Plus, as you become more adept, you’ll be able to get a read for the quality of the player just by their quality of grip.
How a player warms up is revealing to how they play.
If a player is warming up and skips certain shots, say backhands, you can expect them not to be too comfortable with it.
On the other side of the coin, if a player is only practicing one shot repeatedly in warm-ups, that’s probably the shot you’ll see on the court.
Another big indicator of how your opponent might play is their position on the court when they warm up their volleys.
Some may play very aggressively, and their positioning in warm-ups could reveal that to you early.
Serving can also tell you a lot about your opponent.
For instance, are they practicing first serves only, or are they also trying safer, second serves?
Take a look at where they are aiming, too. Are they aiming all over, right down the middle and then on the line?
This also provides you a chance to get a sense of their overall skill level.
Once you’re in the match, you can put this information to good use.
You’ve seen what the opponent wants to do this match and, more importantly, what they don’t want to do.
Hitting to spots where a player is forced to use backhands can be incredibly effective vs. an opponent who never attempted one in warm-ups.
Kalindi Dinoffer is trained in multiple aspects of mindfulness in life and in sports, sharing on her blog MindfulKalindi.com. She is also certified to teach yoga, fitness, reiki, and MFR. Kalindi also serves as VP marketing at OnCourtOffCourt.com, a leading supplier of tennis, pickleball, fitness and yoga training aids and equipment and has been published in Tennis industry Magazine and Pickleball Magazine, and has conducted workshops at conferences around the world. In her spare time, Kalindi plays tennis, pickleball and table tennis and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and biking and cross country skiing in the winter.