Pat Cash on the Volley


Aug 22, 2017
ELITE TENNIS / Q&A

What do you see in practice sessions today?

PAT CASH: Players today are working very hard. And they are paying attention to their bodies better today than in years past. Having said that, I do feel that there is an imbalance among time spent in the gym versus time needed on the court. You might be the best guy at footwork ladder drills but not be able to keep the ball in play. Yes, strength and conditioning are most important, but you must be able to bring it to the court during play. Speaking of practice, I was never a very good practice player, quite poor actually, but once the umpire called ‘play’, I went into a different mode. I remember only once did I perform well in practice. It was at Wimbledon during a hit up with Tim Mayotte where I thrashed him 6-1, 4-1 before our practice court time was up. Ironically, that was the year I won Wimbledon.

I liked practice sessions where we were constantly working on things. Specifically, working on my weaknesses. You naturally are going to work on your strengths anyway. To this day, I never walk on the practice court without a plan of what I would like to improve during the practice session. It is a habit, but one that has served me well.

What happened to the volley? PC: Tennis had become a bit one dimensional where players hit the hell out of the ball and hope it does not come back. Over the last few years, I have seen more players coming into the net. I think that part of the reason courts were slow and players realized that they need to come into the net. Especially, when you have great defenders like Rafa (Nadal), David Ferrer, Andy (Murray) and Novak (Djokovic). Guys feel like they have to add variety to beat those guys. For a while, with the Big Banger string,…
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