For many coaches, in the UK, last week the wind caused havoc; many trees had fallen and bubbles in clubs around the country were flattened and split. This however, was a great time to work on how to adapt your coaching to teach your player on how to play in the wind.
Playing in the wind can be a great leveller and even an advantage.
Here are my tips when training your players:
I am sure I am not alone when I constantly asking my juniors to move their feet and, in these conditions, it’s important to adjust for ball movement.
Adjust your groundstrokes.
When the wind is coming from behind you, there is no need to worry about big take-backs and trying to hit with pace. The elements will do that for you!
Your job as a player, is to control the shots by adding more spin to keep them in. Let the wind be your source of power.
With the wind in front of you we need to add pace to keep the depth. Keep the take-back big, and hit flatter or earlier. Slicing will also be a beneficial stoke. As an added note this is a great side to attack up the court and take down the net. It’s harder to lob and pass when the wind is against you.
If the wind is coming from the sides remember to adjust your safe targets. These are the areas you normally hit to in a match to prevent hitting the ball out. It could be you need to aim for the doubles alley in order to keep the ball in or towards the centre to keep the ball wider.
I am always trying to work out what my opponent can and can’t do well. It could be that hitting slower in the wind ensures the ball moves around… more creating havoc for your opponent. This can be a great ploy when the wind is swirling from all directions.
Players should remind themselves that both you and your opponent are fighting in the same conditions. The weather is outside of your control, deal with it, use it, and carry on. This is why it’s a great idea to go train in the wind!
How do you coach in windy conditions? Are there are tactics you teach your players for competing when the weather is challenging?
Until next week.