There seem to be two divided camps. One telling players to hit harder, be more aggressive, and attack relentlessly. Another telling players to construct the point and play with consistency and margin. Sometimes this debate becomes associated with the American versus the European style of play. Can’t we all just get along...?
As with most conflicting beliefs, the answer is somewhere in the middle. It’s not black or white. And it’s not as if you fall in either the camp of consistency or the camp of aggression. Consistency and aggression are at opposite ends of a spectrum in which players fall in somewhere in between.
Let’s look at both extremes. Playing with increased aggression will at some point have diminishing returns. Aiming at the lines will produce more winners, but it doesn’t make sense if only 40% of the balls go in. Therefore, aiming closer and closer to the lines or hitting harder and harder has diminishing returns. On the flip side, playing with increased margin will also at some point will have diminishing returns because if you chose to increase your margin of error to make 100% of your shots, you’d sacrifice placement and power to the extent your opponent would have a field day.
Long story short, there’s a delicate balance - a "yin and yang" if you will. Each day that balance changes. If your strokes are feeling good, you might lean toward the side of aggression. If your strokes are off but the body is feeling good, then you might increase your margins and slug it out physically. A delicate balance indeed...