This summer's half over and you're mired at the bottom of the club ladder. Your partners are tired of hearing how well you used to play, and you're beginning to wonder if you'll ever rekindle the old magic. Forget the past; it's time for a breakthrough now. Here are some suggestions. PLAY MORE OFTEN AND HARDER. Champions like Bjorn Borg practice five hours a day, while you may be risky to play that much in a week. Switching to part-time work or sending the kids packing may be unfeasible. But pushing yourself to the limit when you do play is the difference between stagnation and improvement, according to renowned coach Pancho Segura. Next time (barring a heat wave) go the distance by playing three sets instead of two. SHORE UP WEAKNESSES. You may never turn that poppy serve into a Roscoe Tanner cannonball, but remember what the great Bill Tilden did back in 1919: the spent the winter revamping his backhand, and went on to become the dominant player of his era. So rent a ball machine, befriend a backboard, or prevail upon a loved one to feed balls to your Achilles' heel until it feels secure. DEVELOP A NEW SHOT. Do you secretely envy players who can put balls away at the net, when you've never ventured past the service-line? If so, why not add the volley to your repertoire before all your opponents beat you to the punch? Or try inventing a new shot -- like Jimmy Connor's sky hook -- something to really set them back on their heels. SET PRACTICE GOALS. Instead of saying "serve 'em up" as soon as you step on the court, why not say "ten forehands down the line?" Practice drills sound like drudgery, but setting a specific goal, as Billie Jean King advocates, can make these sessions more productive than a couple of lackluster sets. Psych yourself up to do the impossible -- say 30 down the line? FIND NEW PARTNERS. You're not talking about a tennis date with Farrah Fawcett, or kidnapping John McEnroe, but what about tennis parties, or ladders and league play to get you out of the "same boring partner" rut? A fresh face across the net is the quickest way to move tired legs and a flagging spirit. PLAY TOURNAMENT. Nothing like hitting the tournament trail to pump the adrenaline and cut down on those errors. Here's a chance to find out where you really stand in tennis-pecking order and what you need to improve. Don't quit if you don't win the first time out. It took Bjorn Borg four tries before he won Wimbledon. TAKE A TRIP. A whole week at a tennis resort devoted to you and your tennis game can't help but bring improvement. Let a well-known star like Rod Laver or Roy Emerson inspire your tennis to new heights. Return home a conquering hero or heroine with a beautiful tan.