Oddly enough, I do have a strategy! This comes from wayyyy back in my childhood/teenage dancing days, but it worked for me and should work for you, too.
Find an empty stretch of wall.
Sit on the ground facing the wall. Scoot your butt so that it's up against the wall.
Lie down flat with your legs up in air. Scoot around until you are at a 90 degree angle with your back, shoulders and head flat against the floor, and your butt, hamstrings, calves, and heels of your feet flat against the wall.
Now, keeping your upper body flat against the floor and your lower body flat against the wall, spread your legs as far as you can. You should feel a stretch, but not pain.
Got it? Now stay there. Read, watch TV, talk on the phone, whatever. My dance teacher used to make us do this at least 30 minutes every day. It looks silly, and I'm sure someone out there will say that it's a terrible stretch, but it worked. =)
Over time, you should be able to stretch your legs farther and longer. This helps especially with side splits, which should be easier at first than center splits.
Let me know if any of this doesn't make sense. Good luck!