Now it’s the time to begin for 13/14 year olds.
Of course every age requires passion, attention and dedication but the u-14 age group is always fascinating to watch their changes in growth, emotions and game style.
Some players started playing at a very young age and had more years and hours under their belt than others who have been playing with only a few hours on court per week and mixed with other sports.
Generally, at this age, the fundamentals have begun to be molded into an “efficient” form with swings of reasonable control and precision although the growth spurt may bring a lack of co-ordination and the occasional reckless shots.
There is no time to be only sitting around the baseline and waiting for others to make a mistake. The moment is to take the initiative and be creative to develop different aspects of the game….. That is the exciting part. You have already begun your growth spurt, you may be a little wobbly but that won’t last long. It is the moment to hit the ball and learn the skill of “fancy footwork”, good reaction and eyesight to follow the ball and make perfect contact.
Now you must learn and experiment how to play in all areas of the game… you are ready to take the ball on the rise instead of giving your opponent the chance to recover. Take time away from your opponent with one step further forward inside the baseline.
Develop your volleys with good footwork, touch and creativity that enables you to develop spin and angles to steal time and distance from your opponent.
Now the game begins!! Use the whole court with a combinations of shots to enable you to sustain rallies and finish points either at the baseline, midcourt or at the net. As your skills develop your confidence grows too.
Impose your game on your opponent with a neutralizing topspin deep in the court, a drive behind the opponent, stepping well inside the court with an approach shot and close with a volley. Don’t forget the serve and volley plus a second serve return and close in on the net. All good things to experiment with. All can make an enormous difference especially during pressure moments.
With time and good consistent practice and competition to test yourself during the next years you will improve significantly.
Keep moving forward with your progress towards either with the WTA, ATP or at an American University.