As my good friend and mentor Coach Chuck Kriese says tennis is a “High Beta Sport.” I have blogged before that tennis is really an eye-hand combative sport. It is like two gladiators walking into the arena and only one gets to leave victorious. Tennis is a civilized form of eye-hand combat and there is no time clock, which means you must finish your opponent off. We really are asking our players to be sophisticated gladiators or polite boxers. It is not often people think of tennis this way but it is exactly what happens out there when two players take the court for a match.
Let me provide an analogy for you. Going into the gladiator arena would you rather have two 3-foot swords or one 5-foot sword and one 1-foot sword? Even though both total up to 6 feet I know I would much rather have the 5-foot sword combination. Think of all the advantages and how much easier it would be to hurt your opponent with the longer sword.
Here is how the analogy relates to tennis players. If your forehand and backhand are equally good that is wonderful. However, imagine if your forehand or your serve are significantly better than all your other strokes. In that case you have a big weapon that can be used to hurt your opponent with often.
I am not saying you should neglect developing the weaker parts of your game, because if your backhand is weak you need to make it stronger. What I am saying is that if you have developed a weapon like a big serve or forehand use it and develop your game plan around using it often. Many times players focus all their efforts on improving their weaknesses but never continuing to improve upon their strengths and that is a mistake.
And if you happen to come up against an opponent with a big weapon you had better make sure you do everything you can to avoiding getting hurt by it.