Smart Tip: Mirror Your Opponent

Say you hit with a friend often, you’re both around the same skill level and you want to add something to your game to get you to that next level. You’re comfortable all around, your fitness is where it should be, so what else can you add?

Intelligence. It’s one thing to be a good tennis player, but it’s another thing to be a smart tennis player. You can master all the shots but without strategy and knowledge about the flow of play, you can’t reach that next level.

An easy thing to improve is positioning. After every shot, you need to mirror your opponent. Like during a cross-court rally, say forehand to forehand, you should move more into the deuce side of the court. If you hit a forehand at a sharp angle out wide, pushing your opponent to the side, you should mirror their positioning and station yourself more out wide.

The reason for this tactic is the variety of shots your opponent could play. If they’re out wide, the angles they can create going cross court with their shot are much more pronounced than down the line. Also, the net is lower in the middle compared to the sides, so in general, down the line shots are harder to pull off.

A good way to practice this is to start hitting cross-court with a partner, occasionally changing it up and hitting it down the line. When you do, make sure to recover immediately cross-court and continue the rally. If you do this enough, it will become second nature. By mirroring your opponent’s positioning, you will find yourself getting to many more balls, and vastly improving your game!

Generating Pace

Have you ever been frustrated from missing that easy put-away shot? The opponent is in a defensive position and the ball comes at you nice and easy, but once you make contact with the ball it soars out of the court.
Generating pace is one of the hardest things to master in tennis. It can dictate many things, such as how you play against various opponents and which shots you feel confident in hitting. For example, playing someone who puts similar or even more pace on the ball is typically an easier adjustment. Playing someone with slower pace may allow for more mistakes, such as the one in the scenario above. In fear of missing the shot, you might play it safe by hitting an easier shot and lose the opportunity to win the point.
One way to practice generating your own pace is the following drill:
Have a coach (or a friend) stand in the middle of the service line facing away from the net with a hopper of balls. They should alternate lightly tossing a ball to each back corner of the court, as the player moves side to side along the baseline hitting cross court shots. This not only benefits efficient sideways movement, but also focuses on applying the right amount of force and spin on the ball in order to generate the correct amount of pace.
So head to the courts and try it out! Your tennis game will consistently improve and you will feel more confident hitting those winning shots. Go Dawgs!

On and Off the Tennis Court 11.15

In midst of being unable to practice in Butler University’s tennis bubble due to recent wind damage, it is important to remember that you do not need a tennis court in order to improve certain skills and stay focused. This is especially useful on days where there is only access to outdoor courts but the weather drops too low for comfort. Here are some ways that practice can continue off the court:

  1. Find an area with a tall ceiling and place a piece of tape on the floor. Pretend that this is the baseline. Grab a tennis ball, and mimic the motions of a serve, focusing on the toss. Dictate the rhythm of the toss, keep your muscles relaxed, toss the ball in the air and let the ball drop to the ground. Do this until you can toss the ball at your desired height and bounce at the desired place past the “baseline” 100 times in a row. 
  2. Footwork is huge in the game of tennis, because improving footwork can aid in other aspects of the sport. There are tons of Youtube videos and websites that list various agility training workouts specific to tennis. One to check out is 
  3. Lifting weights is beneficial, but don’t forget to stretch it out! It is very important to have long lean muscles, and one of the best ways to do that is stretching after a strengthening exercise. 
  4. Do some research. The pros know it the best, and there are plenty of sources online that show how and why they chose their personal methods of playing. Sometimes, in order to improve, you need to take it back to the basics and learn from the ones who know best. 

Although it is still encouraged to utilize these tips, with the help of Butler Club Sports, the Club Tennis team has found another place to practice starting November 6th! See you all on (and off) the courts!

Good luck to the few players traveling to the Badger tournament this weekend! Go Dawgs!


Fall 2017 Update

So far the Club Tennis team has had an amazing start! After appearing at Block Party and talking with many of the interested first year students, the Executive team and the returning players were very excited to see the enthusiasm and talent they would bring to the first practice. We were not disappointed. The turnout was better than expected, and the pumped up attitudes were contagious.
Because we have two practices every week, we decided to dedicate our Monday practice to a specific stroke, including groundstrokes, serves and volleys. Our Wednesday practice is dedicated to fun – we always play games and create more of a social atmosphere to get to know the team better. This method has been working great to create relationships between players, while also improving skills each week. 
Stay tuned for more updates throughout the semester, and don’t forget to follow us on social media!
Twitter: @BUClubTennis
Instagram: @clubtennisBU
Go Dawgs!
By Marley Shovlin

Play (317) Review

At the beginning of October, Butler Club Tennis hosted Play (317) Tennis On Campus: An Alumni Event. The event was held through the sponsorship of the USTA Tennis On Campus to provide opportunities to former club members. The format of the tournament was in played with World Team Tennis (WTT) rules and the same as all USTA club matches. The event at Butler was run with a fun, welcoming, and competitive environment! Each participant received a t-shirt, lunch, and the possibility of winning prizes. Music was played throughout the matches and the players were able to meet other local tennis players. All of the sets were great matchups and played hard. Tennis was not the only sport being played, as participants played corn hole between matches and could take a swing at our homerun derby competition using tennis racquets and balls. Play (317) Tennis On Campus: An Alumni Event provided local Indianapolis club tennis players the chance to meet and compete together. 

Tweet: Bulldogs go 2-0 today after beating IUPUI (23-22)…

Bulldogs go 2-0 today after beating IUPUI (23-22) and IU (25-21) #GoDawgs @BUClubSports

Tweet: Play (317): @TennisOnCampus Alumni Event underway…

Play (317): @TennisOnCampus Alumni Event underway soon!


Tweet: Final Days to register for Play (317) @TennisOnCam…

Final Days to register for Play (317) @TennisOnCampus Event! Plenty of spots left! Deadline Tuesday 5pm.

Tweet: .@IHSTeCA IndyArea Coaches have questions about Cl…

.@IHSTeCA IndyArea Coaches have questions about Club Tennis in College? Come Play (317). Share with your teams too!


Tweet: .@butlerHRC did you know you don’t have to be in @…

.@butlerHRC did you know you don’t have to be i@BUClubTennisis to Play (317)? Lots of freebies with