Updated: Dec 1, 2020
A lot of times people when people watch the pros on TV they think, Oh they make it look easy! When young players watch them they often think, "They just hit the ball so hard and they all go in". The truth is, there is no easy way to achieve this level of performance in your strokes, in your footwork and in your mind. To become a professional means to try and perfect every shot so that you can repeat it time and time again. To do this, a big amount of discipline is required in order to overcome the frustration of failing over and over again until you get it just right, and when you get it right, then you have to repeat that right motion a million times until it becomes automatic. So no, it's not just about hitting the ball hard and hitting a million balls. It is about trying to hit your shots with the right technique so that they are repeatable and you can accelerate with confidence.
The importance of young tennis players to work on technique is too high. Working on technique from an early age builds a strong base for the player's game and allows them to hit shots with confidence. If a player has the right technique form an early age they can only get better as they get older. They will get stronger and start hitting harder or heavier and they will get better at repeating the strokes and setting up their feet to hit the shot correctly.
Too many times a talented player comes to me stuck at 13 or 14 years old because they can't finish points, or because they struggle with switching directions, or simply because they don't have as much power as the other kids anymore. Having to correct technique at this age becomes a slower process in which the player actually looses time to compete. At this age any player's strokes should be ready and polished for competition.
Sometimes when parents or even coaches put too much emphasis on winning and competing at an early age, the players loose sight of what it's really important when they hit their grandstrokes because they just wants to get the ball in the court. Getting good at hitting balls in the court however possible (disregarding technique), serving with a non- continental grip, will only work only until a certain age usually 11 or even 12, kids can even win tournaments playing this way if they are good competitors. After this age though, how can they compete with players who are serving at high speeds or doing kick serves? Once they pass the 12's kids are stronger and hitting harder and heavier shots which becomes difficult to play against if the technique is not in the right place. It is never too late to fix a player's technique but ideally, players progress faster when they work on it from an early age.
In order to achieve the right technique, you must have the correct guidance, you must be willing to put in the effort, and you must know that it will take time to achieve your desired goal. This is why even to this day, professional players will finish a 3 hour tennis match and they will go and drill another 2 hours just to feel the ball better and to make it right. So, no there is no easy way around it and it is quite easy to get frustrated because the way you were doing it seemed easier but you need to have the conviction that you will have a limit with the old way and the new way you are learning will make your shot 10 times better with time and effort.
"ABOVE ALL YOU MUST BE SURE OF ONE THING, YOU WILL BECOME THE BEST YOU CAN BE WHEN YOU HAVE THE CONVICTION TO DO THINGS PROPERLY"