UC Berkeley Hall of Fame Coach Jan Brogan offers another way to assess your game. Think about how you respond when your opponent hits a difficult shot that pushes you behind the baseline. “How do you defend?” asks Coach Brogan. “Do you defend?”
In every sport that’s played with a ball, the quality and strength of a player’s game depends on defense. If you only focus on your offensive skills, you might want to consider that the two top ATP players – Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic – possess outstanding defensive skills. What does that mean? When Federer is pinned back behind the baseline by the depth of his opponent’s shot, he tries – and often succeeds – to respond with a deep shot of his own.
“If you have good defender skills rather than thinking ‘I’m just an offensive player,’ then you’re always able to get a good player’s best ball back, keep yourself in the point, and give yourself the opportunity to take control of the point and win that point,” says Coach Brogan.