Chart your matches to find out which strokes are working best for you.
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
Charting your tennis matches allows you to statistically evaluate your game to see what's working and what isn't so that you can focus practice time on what really needs improving. With the help of a coach, friend or teammate, start by charting the basics -- serves, forehands, backhands, forced errors, winners and more -- during upcoming matches. Next, analyze your data and come up with a plan for how you can improve your game and give yourself an edge to win more matches. If you're a coach, you can chart your players' matches to help focus your coaching strategy.1.
Create a list of the areas of your game that you want to analyze. Suggestions by tennis pro Ron Waite of Turbo Tennis include first serves, second serves, aces, double faults, forehand groundstroke winners, forehand groundstroke errors, backhand groundstroke winners, defensive lobs and drop shots. These are going to be the items that you chart.
Make a tennis chart template. Start with the basics, like name, opponent's name, location, weather, set number, winner and score. Next type in the items you want to chart, like first serves or unforced errors. Next to each item, write the numbers one to 50. This is a simple charting system suggested by Waite. For example, if you have "First Serves" on your chart, follow this item by "1, 2, 3,вЂ¦ 50." Each number corresponds with a point played.3.
Make multiple copies of your chart template. Each page of your chart is for one set.4.
Fill in the basics before the match starts, like players' names, date and weather conditions. If you are doing a chart of your own match, you can complete these basics, but the actual charting once play begins will need to be done by your coach, a spectator friend or teammate so that you don't get distracted from your match.5.
Begin charting as soon as the first point is played; again, if you are playing, someone else will need to be charting for you. Mark a number each time something relevant happens. For example, if you hit an ace on the first point, circle the number "1" after "Ace." If you make an unforced error on the second point, circle "2" after "Unforced Error." Chart one page for each set.6.
Calculate your stats after each match. For example, if you hit 20 forehand winners out of 100 points won, you can calculate that you are winning 20 percent of your points with forehand winners. After charting several matches, combine numbers and calculate overall stats to give yourself a better overview of your game.7.
Bring your stats to your coach and analyze them to find your strengths and weaknesses. With this road map in hand, come up with a game plan of how to improve your tennis and match-playing skills.8.
Revise your chart template as needed. Go into more detail if you'd like with the items you list. You can also add spaces to write comments regarding specific points.
- Pencil or pen
- Personalized chart (made by you)
- Players and coaches alike can also chart matches as spectators to gain useful insight; for example, if you watch a professional match at a tournament or even on TV, you can chart both players and analyze their games to see why the winner won and what his strengths are. You can then compare your own or your students' games to the professional tennis players.
- Look into tennis chart apps for convenience.