TIP 1. An illusion that exists among many tennis players is that they are playing the ball more in front of themselves than usual when serving, volleying, or moving in to hit a ball that lands short in their court. That is not true. When players move into the ball, they take it sooner, but not more in front of themselves. Good players try to place their body in exactly the same relationship to the ball on every shot before they hit.
TIP 2. To keep your tennis shots in the court consistently, a safe margin of error in from the lines must be allowed for. There is no other way of playing good tennis. This is true for you, and it's true for the greatest players in the world. No one ever gets good enough to play the court the way it's laid out.
Incidence of Error
Whether you hit fifty, a hundred, or five hundred shots toward "X," most will land around it in a circular pattern. This pattern is your "incidence of error."
TIP 3. Hit the outside part of the ball whenever you're near a sideline. This will keep the shot from going out the sideline because the trajectory will be into the court.
TIP 4. Aiming Tip: Don't think about your racquet, your swing, or your stroke when hitting the ball. Think only of where you want to hit. The ball must go there. Remember, only thoughts enable you to perform.
Once you swing at a ball, hold your aimpoint throughout the stroke. Even if you are completely off balance or falling down, holding the aimpoint firmly in your mind will give you a fighting chance to make the shot.
TIP 5. During play, never look at anything but the tennis ball. Never look at the court. Never look at your opponent. You'll see as much of them as you need to as they pass your line of vision. Don't be lazy with your eyes. Scrambling because you've read the ball late is more tiring (and more frustrating) than making the effort to see the ball early.
TIP 6. Unnecessary errors lose more matches than great shots win.
TIP 7. Hit from a blind position. Hit every ball you can from a closed stance. (Turn your body to the side with your shoulder down the line.) From this stance, you can hit down the line or cross-court. By standing this way, you are in a blind position and your opponent will find it more difficult to read where you will hit in either direction.
TIP 8. Program yourself to return serve.
Take advantage of the stop in play before each serve to program yourself to return serve. Once the serve is hit, there's very little time to decide where and how to return serve. You should think about it before the serve is hit. The first thing to do is to visualize the various places in the service court the serve may be hit. The serve can be hit to any of these places or anywhere in between. Thoroughly program yourself with where you are going to aim your return depending on where the ball lands in the service court.
TIP 9. Whatever else you fail to do, don't forget to hold your aimpoint until you have completed the return! Remember: Your stroke will collapse the moment you drop the aimpoint from your mind.