“Control, you must learn control!” Can you hear Yoda saying it to Luke? Now hear me, saying it to all club players: “Control, you must learn control!” First, you need to control a ball coming from a perfect feed Go out with your pro, or the ball machine and practice hitting your shots to a spot cross-court. Then practice hitting to a spot down the line. Then practice hitting both alternately. You may give yourself a single cone as your target, or set up a circle using t-shirts, shoes, or whatever you have in your tennis bag, that’s 10-15 feet in diameter. See how many shots it takes for you to hit within the target zone 10 times, or count how many go in out of 100 shots. That is your percentage. If 15 feet is easy (you get 10 out of 15 shots in right away), then either make the feed more difficult, make the target smaller, or try to hit with more power. The more accurate your placement, the better you’ll be when you need to push your opponent around the court in a match. Remember, placement (control) always trumps power. As your placement improves, slowly ramp up your power, until you have a good mix of both. That’s a deadly combination!