|CORRECT SHOT SELECTION GIVES YOUR GAME COHESION AND MEANING|
At any given time during a point you are in one of three conditions, Defense, Neutral or Offense. You need to clearly define which condition you are in to compete successfully.
If you attack the point at the wrong time, or have an opportunity to attack but fail to take that opportunity, it doesn’t matter how well you stroke the ball your overall game will lack cohesion and meaning.
So how do we define when we are in a Defensive situation, a Neutral situation or an Offensive situation? What exactly are the factors which put you in a defensive mode? When are you able to attack the point with a high degree of confidence that you will be successful? How do you know that you are in a Neutral situation during the point?
Whether you are in Defense, Neutral or Offense depends on two criteria and you must constantly be aware of these criteria as you play. Those criteria are:
1. THE POSITION OF YOUR FEET WHEN YOU CONTACT THE BALL
If your feet are behind the baseline when you contact the ball, you are on Defense. If your feet are inside the baseline when you contact the ball you are on Offense.
2. THE HEIGHT OF CONTACT IN RELATION TO THE WHITE BAND OF THE NET
If you contact the ball above the height of the white band of the net, you are on Offense. If you contact the ball below this white band you are in Defense.
If your feet are inside the baseline (Offense) but the height of the ball is below the white band (Defense) you are in the neutral condition such as when you are approaching the net and have to hit a low mid-court ball, or when you are playing a low volley at net.
If your feet are behind the baseline (Defense) but the ball is above the white band of the net (Offense), you are in a Neutral condition also. An example would be when your opponent loops a high ball during the rally.
This is called the DNO Theory (Defense, Neutral, and Offense).
Many players fail to clearly define their role with each shot during the point. This leads to poor shot selection and ultimately unforced errors. Learn to constantly access which condition you are in for each shot, Defense, Neutral or Offense, and respond correctly to each condition.