Error Location – Match Stats that Help You Practice
Minimizing errors is a major part of junior tennis training. Apart from the obvious stroke production, a player can minimize errors through footwork, shot selection, and a whole stack of other stuff that goes in to playing tennis.
As a parent, it’s difficult to know which errors your junior player is making most just by watching. Coaches don’t get the opportunity to watch comp or tournament matches every time one of their players steps on the court. So, how does a player/parent/coach know what facet of the game needs the most practice based on the match that’s just been played?
Check the match stats would be a great start!
Before I go on, if you’re looking for information about the difference between errors (forced and unforced) and winners, check here.
The Three Error Locations
GT Stats allows users to record unforced errors that hit the net or are hit wide or long. Note that the wide/long measurement can be a bit problematic as shots can be both wide and long. In this case, it’s best to record whether the shot was further wide than long, or vice versa.
Not that any error is good, but some are better than others. Hitting shots into the net is generally considered the worst error a player can make. The net’s only 3 feet off the ground at the center. Rafa’s forehand averages more than twice that.
Wide is generally considered the second worst no-no for a tennis player. It comes about usually because a player is pushing that little too hard to hit the lines rather than the space inside the sidelines.
Don’t get me wrong, hitting shots long is not an error a player wants to make, but it’s the best of a bad bunch. 10 feet long might be more of a problem, but if a player is trying to obtain height over the net and depth in the court with heavy spin, they’ll set up more points.
GT Stats Error Location Stats and Graphs
When recording a match, any tap on a red ball will initiate a pop-up where you will be asked to tap whether the error was Net/Wide/Long. Simply tapping one of these logs the error and takes you back to the serving screen for the next point.
Note there is one instance that the Net/Wide/Long pop-up will appear that isn’t an unforced error: after a first serve. Missing a first serve isn’t an unforced error because it isn’t the end of the point. It is, however, important to know the location of first serve misses to improve that shot.
GT Stats Error Location Display
From the Stats screen, tap the magnifying glass next to “Unforced Errors”. Each shot will be displayed with the number of errors made in each location.
Tap the graph icon to see this information in a more illustrative format. Voila!
From the example we’ve provided – it’s an actual junior match – it’s obvious that Player 2 is making far too many forehand errors in the net. Interestingly, the same can’t be said for the same player’s forehand return of serve, which goes long more than anything else.
So, what should Player 2 be out on the court practicing at their next session? Height over the net from the forehand side. If topspin is a problem, work on that too. Hitting the ball cross court from forehand to forehand, trying to eliminate shots in the net by aiming high with spin, would certainly help.
Wouldn’t have known without the stats!