When coaching we always teach in the order of consistency first. That means being able to consistently hit the ball over and into the court. Next our tennis lessons work on placement and hitting the ball in certain spots on the court. It’s only when we have these first two down we start to work on power. Power is not much good unless you can place the ball on the court.
I would prefer to be able to return the ball in the correct place on the court than only return it back with power and it being out of place. Hitting it back hard means I have less time to get back into position and I also have a higher risk of an unforced error.
Good tennis means putting the ball in hard spot for your opponent, with the right depth and height. This is more important than power!
Next time you practice notice how hard you are hitting the ball and where it lands. Also take note of how easy or how difficult it is for your opponent to return the ball. Your observations can guide you in how you structure your game in order to win.
Once you develop placement your power will follow. Your strokes will be more fluid. Your confidence will build. And the time will come when you will start to naturally use your power.
Photo by Jérôme Chainay