Playing Tip of the Month: When you're "up against it" in the middle of a match and things aren't going very well, KEEP COMPETING. The best players in the world seem to find a way to optimize the day when things aren't going well. KEEP COMPETING and see what happens. You'll be surprised by the amount of matches that turn in your favor if you KEEP COMPETING. When you're struggling, your Mantra should be: "COMPETE!"
Technical Tip of the Month: Use your legs as a loading device for more power. The serve is a stroke that's talked about (a lot), where the legs are needed. Just as important, use your legs to "coil and uncoil" into your groundstrokes. Use your legs as a "springboard" for more power.
Past Tips (Playing Tips):
(1) When practicing, do the majority of your drilling as "Live Ball" vs. "Basket-Feeding". Keep it as real as possible, doing "simulated point drills".
Those who put the majority of their focus into hitting balls out of a basket develop the "pretty stroke", but struggle when it comes time for match play / competition. Those who spend the majority of their time playing out points and competing, are much more mentally tough in match situations.
The "Live Ball" player learns how to play under pressure, thriving in competition; the "basket-driller" learns how to hit, and becomes a "basket-case" in competitive match situations.
Past Tips (Technical Tips):
(1) Keep the ball in front of your hips upon contact. Focus on keeping your distance from the ball when it comes to your contact point. This will help with control, consistency, power, and ultimately the success of the shot.