Don’t Forget Your Bread And Butter

By John Meyers (January 24, 2012) | Return to Blog

After working with a 72 year old student for the past two years I have come to realize you cannot ignore your “bread and butter” – your best shot. This particular student had a naturally strong backhand he could hit effortlessly and consistently, but his forehand had much to be desired. At his request, our focus would be on improving his forehand, developing more topspin, and utilizing the “modern forehand” i.e. footwork. The ultimate goal would be to create an easily repeatable racquet path producing a shot with more margin for error which would result in more consistency.

Now the strategy was sound, but being the perfectionist type, my student insisted on spending most of our teaching time working on his forehand. And, 90% of his practice time between our lessons focused on the forehand which began to present problems. After hitting a gazillion forehands the past few months he could no longer hit his best shot, the backhand slice. His natural killer backhand had begun to deteriorate – very disconcerting for him, and pretty much put a damper on the improved forehand, not to mention his fragile psyche.

So, the last few weeks we have begun splitting the hitting time between the two shots, and slowly but surely, he’s getting that killer slice back. So the moral of this story, whether you are working with a pro or not, practice all your shots, especially your “bread and butter”.