Players that are learning the game should keep a 2 subject notebook in their bag at all times. During match play players are not allowed to use electronic devices such as phones or watches because of the opportunity for coaching on these devices. However, a player may have a notebook on court during matches and they can look at it anytime they want (during changeovers) to refresh themselves on coaching notes or other strategy items. Here is how to use the notebook effectively.
Inside Front Cover – A major issue with many players is an indecisive moment in the game. There are a handful of these that can cause a player to lose a point. These moments usually occur on rare shots that can have a major impact on the game such as overheads and approach shots. As a player is making an approach shot there are a number of factors going on all at once. These include proper technique, moving and deciding where to place the ball. By writing a position inside the front cover the player already knows where they are going on the next shot, eliminating one of the parts of the process. Now it is a matter of simply executing the shot since the player already knows where they want to go. After hitting it they can move on to the next one by writing their next intended target. This same advice goes for overheads. Combine this technique with the last one, match sheets, and you can help propel yourself to winning matches more often.
Subject one, lesson notes – Every time a player gets a lesson, be it a group lesson or a private lesson, it is a good idea to write down notes from those lessons. This has a number of impacts on the player. First, it reinforces what they learned that day and helps solidify it in their mind. Second, at a later date, if a player is having issues with a particular stroke, they can go back and read what they were taught and work on executing a corrected stroke. It is recommended putting a date by the lesson as well as a heading such as Forehand or Backhand Volley at the top of the pages so they are easier to reference in the future during matches.
Subject two, match sheets – Provided on this site is a sample Match Sheet. These are useful tools in helping a player to develop a game plan on beating an opponent. The main idea is to find your opponent’s weaknesses and use your strengths against those weaknesses and win more points. Also, combine this with the first section, Inside Front Cover and you can help develop plans for how to tackle tough spots by addressing those “what if” moments into winning points.
Back Cover – Use this space to write notes to bring to your coach. If you notice something that needs improvement in your game, write it down when it’s fresh in your mind after a match and bring that to your coach. You can work on it and specifically target areas of your game to help you improve.