“You hit a crosscourt with your backhand, not too deep and your opponent makes a gesture you recognize because you have seen it from him before so you get ready for a drop shot.
Effectively, his hits a drop short. Seeing this in anticipation with the eyes of your mind, allows you to run a millisecond earlier, which greatly improves your chances of getting the ball. Thanks to your high level of concentration and observation, you have captured and memorized some situations that keep on repeating and you’re glad about it”.
Awareness | Perception: The knowledge or understanding that something exists, the ability to observe and create a mental image of what is happening.
This is probably one of the most important skills in tennis. A game that is played at such a speed, requires that you react very early, hopefully you know what kind of shot is coming before it happens and you anticipate where and how the ball is coming and how to respond.
I believe the way players start to acquire this skill is through a high level of attention. Young players that are present and can keep the attention on the ball, the court, the opponent. They learn this better and faster. You can observe that in the timing of the split step. Ways to improve that are games on small court, looking at the ball in the moment of contact and focusing on the split steps. Watching tennis is also a way to learn to anticipate to the most common responses.
Evolve your Game….