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Thursday, April 12, 2018

One Step at a Time

Change your strategy based on the situation...

We will again look to the far distant past for this week's tips from DJ Howard. 

There are six different levels of offense and defense on a sliding scale from most offensive to most defensive. I'll break them down:

High offense 
= "attacking/finishing". 
Goal - end the point. 
Example - overhead smash.

Medium Offense
= "building/hurting". 
Goal - create an opportunity to attack/finish.
Example - high volley to opponent's feet.

Neutral (in between offense and defense) 
= "neutral" (shocker, I know!). 
Goal - consistently keep the ball in play and look for a chance to hurt/build.
Examples - most dinks, serves.

Medium Defense 
= "resetting". 
Goal - get the point back to a neutral state and deny your opponent the opportunity to hurt you further or build an advantage.
Examples - blocking a drive from the NVZ, many third shots.

High defense 
= "staying in". 
Goal - get the ball back in play. 
Examples - returning an overhead smash, chasing down a lob your opponent hit over your head.

Desperate defense (most difficult) 
= "flipping around". 
Goal - go for broke (cuz you're gonna lose anyway if you don't!)
Example - around the post shot on a full run

Understanding what level of offense or defense you are faced with in any given situation will help you decide the best response. Play at the same level if you have no chance to go up a level. Go up one level only when the time is right! The exception is "turning around" in which case you go from desperate defense to high offense in one shot. Otherwise, don't try to skip over a level. For example, if you are in a neutral state, don't go for an outright winner. Conversely, if you are on high offense, don't merely dink the ball back over, look to put it away!

You'll soon see why power and finesse are needed to play at the highest levels.

Learn these levels and how they work on the court and your decision making will improve dramatically.

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