Tennis Tips

Treasured Tennis Tip by Frank Giampaolo!


October 25, 2019

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Preparing for Pressure 

by Frank Giampaolo

Preparing for Pressure is a guide to assist coaches, parents, and players through the process of inventorying their athlete’s software faculties. Frank was generous on the phone and happy to share his expertise & words with us at Game-Set-Match, Inc. to share with our players. He resides in Southern California and we hope to have him for a visit in the future. Check out his awesome list of accolades as well as his exciting endeavors. The following is an excerpt from his NEW book, Preparing for Pressure, and this is just the tip of the iceberg for what he has to offer. Thanks Frank!

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Frank Giampaolo is an award winning coach, popular international speaker, and sports researcher. He is an instructional writer for ITF (International Tennis Federation) Coaching & Sports Science Review, UK Tennis magazine, the USPTA, Tennis Magazine and Tennis View Magazine.  Frank is both a USPTA and PTR educator, a Tennis Congress Faculty Member, and has been a featured speaker at the Australian Grand Slam Coaches Convention, the PTR GB Wimbledon Conference, and Wingate Sports Institute (Israel.)

 

Frank is the bestselling author of Championship Tennis (Human Kinetics Publishing), Raising Athletic Royalty, The Tennis Parent’s Bible (volume I & II) and The Mental Emotional Workbook Series (How to Attract a College Scholarship, International Player Evaluation, Match Chart Collection, Match Day Preparation and Blunders and Cures). His television appearances include The NBC Today Show, OCN-World Team Tennis, Fox Sports, Tennis Canada and Tennis Australia.

 

Frank founded The Tennis Parents Workshops in 1998, conducting workshops across the United States, Mexico, Israel, New Zealand, Australia, England, Canada and Spain. Frank’s commitment to coaching excellence helped develop approximately 100 National Champions, hundreds of NCAA athletes, numerous NCAA All-Americans and several professional athletes. His innovative approach has made him a worldwide leader in athletic-parental education. Frank is currently the Vice Chair of the USTA/SCTA Coaches Commission.

Attitude in Battle

(an excerpt from Giampaolo's Preparing for Pressure)

 

Gratitude studies in sports psychology found significant links between gratitude and well-being. Mental and emotional strength is what every athlete seeks. Before bed, ask athletes to build their ‘gratitude muscle’ by completing a gratitude journal. According to a study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being: 'Even after devastating losses, being grateful fosters the resiliency to bounce back quicker and stronger.' Spend five minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed quiets the restless, unsatisfied mind. Nurturing gratitude is a daily gift one gives to oneself. A grateful mindset better prepares the athlete to handle pressure.

 

“It’s impossible to be grateful and angry simultaneously.” 

Athletes who routinely choose to play grateful versus angry have a distinct advantage under pressure. A proactive attitude helps players perform in the flow state they desperately seek but unintentionally destroy. Athletes who are nurtured courageous, optimistic thoughts versus fearful, pessimistic thoughts are found to be much more solution oriented than their toxic peers. Although happy athletes don't always win, optimism beats pessimism. Even with the best of attitudes, athletes need emotional preparation. Pushing your athlete past discomfort on the practice court is often a heated affair. It’s much more difficult than the typical snow job tennis lesson witnessed at the country club. (Snow job: An avoidance of the real issues as the coach simply flatters the student until their lesson time runs out). Preparing for pressure consists of building the competitor's emotional walls of defense. This competitive development includes both delivering big weapons as well as taking repeated hits. As the famous boxer, Mike Tyson says, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” 

 

“It ain’t how hard you hit. It’s how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” Rocky Balboa


The Iceberg Illusion


“Maximizing athletic potential at the quickest rate requires a knowledgeable coach capable and willing to develop the whole person.”

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While you may not recognize all of the "software," it is captivating to note the volume of jobs our minds must utilize on the court. You may or may not be familiar with this graphic/concept but realizing there is more than meets the eye in any situation is a morsel of wisdom. Frank has captured this allegory and applied this to our tennis mind. Frank's books and resources can be found at maximizingtennispotential.com. There is so much to nurture within ourselves both on and off the court. We hope you enjoy and dig into this content and we can help you with the gear! 


 Get on the court with Game-Set-Match, Inc., your racquet sports one-stop shop!


Here at Game-Set-Match, Inc., we take pride in our customer service and selection.

We're happy to speak with you about any questions you may have. 


 
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July Tennis Tip & Promotion!


July 7, 2019

 
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Tennis Mental Game

from Optimum Tennis

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Secrets of the Mental Tennis Game


A tennis mental game involves the factors beyond tennis strokes that affect the outcome of a tennis match.
A tennis mental game involves the factors beyond tennis strokes that affect the outcome of a tennis match. These mental tennis game tips and secrets reveal the need for proper mental tennis training.
The tennis mental game consists of physical strength and mental fitness.

No matter how skillful you are, physically winning a tennis match can still be out of your reach if your mind is not conditioned. Below are some of the tennis mental game techniques and training for every player in order to condition their mind to win tennis matches.

Visualization and self confidence
Visualization is a big part of the tennis mental game. Sports Psychologists are using visualization to train athletes to strengthen their mental tennis game. Visualization means your mental ability to create events or happenings in your mind. In other words, you can visualize yourself attaining your goals to serve excellently in tennis, or improving you skills in tennis games or simply you imagine yourself better than what you are in your present condition for you to be able to build your self confidence or self belief. In the end visualization can help you peak in your tennis games.

Every tennis player should do visualization exercises prior to a tennis match. Spend several minutes prior to a tennis match visualizing that you are going to play the best tennis match you ever played in your life. Imagine yourself playing in the court with excellent first service and second service percentage. You can also visualize that you will be able to use you powerful groundstrokes to make you opponent more vulnerable. Above all, visualize yourself winning the tennis match no matter who is your opponent.

Visualization does not come easily by just imagining things. In doing this you have to use all your senses. The sense of touch that you can feel how you grip your racket and how you toss you ball when you serve. Use your sense of hearing to imagine that you hear all the cheers of your supporters or boos of your opponent’s supporters. And most importantly, you should make use of your sense of feeling, seeing and hearing to hear to the shouts and the cheers, the different colors and the warmth feeling the spectators give you in the court when you hit your winning ball. By doing this training every day, as time goes by you will start to develop your self confidence.

Self-hypnosis
Self hypnosis is another part of the tennis mental game. Today, at full time junior tennis academies, they designate specific parts of the training day just for mental tennis training. One of the methods used to train elite players is self hypnosis and self talk on court.

In playing tennis, what you feel or what your emotions are during the match are big factors that affect your game performance. This means that during tennis matches, your thoughts and your emotions should work hand in hand for you to be at your best. Many professional players use this in their mental tennis training to achieve their goals as you see them talking to themselves on court.

On one hand, what you say when you are on court does affect the way you play your tennis games. This is because normally the words that come out from your mouth are expressions of your real thoughts and your real emotions deep inside your head, and therefore these expressions tend to manifest itself both externally and internally.

One way for players to develop positive self-talk can even be done during practice or during the match itself. To win tennis matches you have to introduce positive self-talk. Tell yourself that you have the skills and techniques to defeat your opponents. Tell yourself not be frustrated or angered when you miss a hit. Tell yourself not to complain a lot when a line man or the referee makes a bad call, because it will just distract your concentration.

And above all talk to yourself to concentrate and focus on your game with the goal of winning it. This technique of a solid tennis mental game is crucial especially when you are down in a match, because it can help you motivate yourself. This is very important in tennis matches considering once you are on court, you work all alone (especially in Grand slam tournaments) from the beginning of the match until a winner is declared. Therefore, your self-motivation by talking to yourself is vital.

Mental Tennis Strength
Mental tennis strength is a crucial attribute to be a winning tennis player. Not only does a player require the skills and technique necessary, but winners must also possess mental tennis ability.

Developing your mental strength is very important in every tennis match. No matter how good you are in every physical attribute in a tennis match, your chances of winning tennis matches are limited if your mental strength is weak. Mental strength means your ability to focus on every single match and every single point without a lapse. Hence every player must train themselves accordingly for the tennis mental game.

How to train yourself to develop the mental tennis strength you need every time you face your opponent?
One way to do it is daily and constant practice, and this is what all professional players do. They still practice playing tennis regularly no matter how good they already are. They practice when there are no upcoming tournaments and they practice more when a tournament is fast approaching.

During practice, maintain your objectives of winning every point to the best of your ability. Don’t take the practice for granted because generally your performance in practice reflects your performance in the actual games.

The second part of the tennis mental game is to include critical games situations in every practice you do. Mental tennis strength is more crucial when you are pressured to win points. Like for example in tiebreakers, a situation when you are down with your service game at 0-40, or you are in a situation that you only need to win two to three points to win a match. These are just examples where the right mental tennis training is crucial for you to stay focus and aim for a point in every hit.

In every tennis game, it is possible that a match can go for a very long time like the longest match in tennis history between Isner and Mahut in 2010 Wimbledon. If both players did not have the proper mental tennis training, neither of them would be able to finish the match. The best way to do this is to keep practicing for long hours until such time that you think your physical body can’t do it anymore but your mind is still willing to persevere.

Relaxation techniques
Nervousness and anxiety are common emotions that players feel before each game. In addition, many players are very emotional when they score a point or worse when they make an unforced error. Some examples of this are the throwing balls to the spectators, banging of racket to their head or even breaking their racket with their bare hands. Every time players do this, they spend more of their energy in their emotions and most of the time they lose focus of the game.

Hence relaxation techniques are very important to minimize these negative emotions before and during the game.

Audio tapes
Mind relaxation is very important to develop the tennis mental game, especially before every tennis match. When your mind is relaxed, it means you can concentrate totally on your upcoming match, but if your mind is full of other things other than you match then you have the tendency to lose focus. Many players like to listen to a certain type of music when they are traveling on their way before a big performance. Like for example, Wayne Rooney loves to listen to Susan Boyle’s album when he is on the bus on their way to the stadium where they are going to play. Listen to relaxing music rather than rock music.

Breathing techniques
Mental tennis training also involves learning how to control the body. Taking beep breaths is one way to relax your tense mind and muscles. This tennis mental game aspect is very important to do before and during the game. The players should always remember to take deep breaths. Experts suggest to inhale and exhale slowly, which calms the body. Notice some players taking their time before each serve; this is the best time to relax your mind and body by taking a walk to the fence and back to service area. Deep inhale and exhale will also help players to overcome their strong emotions while on court.

10 Minute pre-match silent moment
In this tennis mental game technique, all you need to do is find a quiet place to be alone to contemplate for at least 10 minutes before you go on court. Just sit and relax and close your eyes and clear your mind of any negative thoughts. Then after five minutes of sitting, stand up and do the inhale exhale exercise until you are ready to go out to the court.

Control body language
Body language or body posture reflects any player’s mental and physical condition, and to be in proper posture will tell your opponent that you are tough and strong enough to defeat him. The most important part of mental tennis training is learning to control body language. However, if you show your opponent that you are not conditioned mentally and physically through you body language, then it will boost your opponent’s confidence to defeat you.

Hence in every game, each player must always condition their mind that no matter what your real condition is you should always project that you are in your best condition. Like for example if your opponent sees that your shoulders are sagging when you are down, it will create more encouragement to your opponent. But if you continue the game with your head up while calming yourself, your opponent would not be able to take advantage of you.

Mistake management skills
Every player makes mistakes, but a great player converts every mistake into an opportunity to improve his game plan. To convert every mistake into an opportunity does not only need physical skills, but the player has to have the cognitive approach to do it. Like for example, if your technique is not working with your opponent’s approach, then you have to be mentally ready to accept it. At the same time, be mentally alert to analyze the situation and come up with the right counter attack.

Post-performance review:
Another tennis mental game strategy that can help players perform better in their matches is to watch their every performance in recorded video. In this way, the player is able to analyze the good and the bad aspects in his or her games.

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Triple Threat on Racquetball, Squash & Pickle Ball


Stars this Monday, July 8  

Valid 7/8 - 7/15
Up to 25% off SALE! Buy a new Racquet/Paddle, balls & grip in any combo & save more: 1 item@15%OFF (grip); 2 items@20%OFF (paddle&grip); 3 items@25% off (racquet&balls). Any combo! 

Cannot be combined with other offers including Five Stars rewards.

 Get on the court with Game-Set-Match, Inc., your racquet sports one-stop shop!


Here at Game-Set-Match, Inc., we take pride in our customer service and selection.

We're happy to speak with you about any questions or concerns you may have. 


 
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March Tennis Tip & More from your Friends@GSM!


March 23, 2019

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Welcome to Spring Tennis!

We hope you've been playing and we are looking forward to seeing more faces in the store who have been hibernating for the winter! Spring is here & the courts are calling. Our staff is ready to tune-up racquets with new, springy strings, fresh grips and absorbent dampeners to liven up your game. We also have discount racquets, a racquet trade-in program that extends $25 off a new frame for your old racquet and all new racquet releases ready for demo'ing which will also provide a credit of up to $30 off the price of a new racquet! Remember to check your Rewards points, your reward may be waiting for you. Ask your neighborhood & club pros to work on the shots from the tips below to improve your doubles game. Our goal is to get you on the court and make this your best season!

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March Tennis Tip: 
3 Shots You Need for Doubles (And 3 You Don't)

by Paul Gold@Active.com

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons that people fail in their quest to play great doubles is that they have the wrong shots. There are certain shots I often see people trying to hit when they play doubles that are just not the best shots they could play. And maybe worse still, they spend a whole load of time (and money) trying to improve those shots.

If your only objective is to play winning doubles, then here are three shots you need to put time into developing and improving versus some shots you don't need the extra time to improve.

You Don't Need a Big Serve

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You Do Need A Good Spin Serve

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You Don't Need Topspin Groundstrokes

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You Do Need A Sliced Backhand & Forehand

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You Don't Need A Smash

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You Do Need A Variable Overhead

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*Five Stars members will earn points on purchases but rewards cannot be redeemed on special offers. Offers cannot be combined. Court equipment & balls not included. Some dealer exclusions apply. Text "GSM" to 578277 (5Stars) to join our Five Stars loyalty program that rewards customer 1 point for each $1 spent as well as sends bonus offers@Game-Set-Match, Inc. & other participating stores! 

 Get on the court with Game-Set-Match, Inc., your racquet sports one-stop shop!


Here at Game-Set-Match, Inc., we take pride in our customer service and selection. We're happy to speak with you about any questions or concerns you may have. 


 
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February Tennis Tip & A Shoulder/Rotator Cuff Workshop!


February 16, 2019

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How Should You Physically Recover After A Tennis Match?


Meet Michael Harmon

Owner and Physical Therapist at Harmon Physical Therapy, Michael Harmon, was born in Liberia, Africa, and later was raised in Wilmington, Delaware. After receiving his Bachelor of Science from The College of William and Mary, Michael went on to obtain a Masters of Physical Therapy from The University of Delaware. As a Physical Therapist for more than 15 years, Michael brings a unique combination of Outpatient Orthopedic experience, compassion, and the dedication to improve the health and well-being of those he treats. Michael is an expert in joint problems including: shoulder, knee, foot/ankle, low back and cervical treatment. Michael is an avid skier and loves spending time with his beautiful wife, Annie, and his energetic daughters, Edina and Eliana.

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Scroll down to Register for a Shoulder/Rotator Cuff Workshop by Michael Harmon of Harmon PT.

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Game-Set-Match, Inc. partner, Michael Harmon, owner at Harmon Physical Therapy, shared these tips below with us for post-match play recovery. He endorses these stretches & recovery methods as do we, of course exercising your best personal judgment on what's right for you. Please enjoy the article below & don't forget to scroll down to register for Michael's Shoulder/Rotator Cuff Workshop at Game-Set-Match, Inc. University Hills Plaza in Denver.


How Should You Physically Recover After A Tennis Match?

After a match or an intensive training session, the physical recovery phase is essential for making progress. There are several things that can be done to help recovery: active recovery, diet (including hydration), cold (shower, ice bath or cryotherapy) and massage. These different techniques will help you achieve optimum recovery and progress with your exercise. Find out the best ways to recover physically.

Active physical recovery

The aim of active recovery is to remove toxins, avoid muscle soreness and gradually bring the body back to a resting state. Active physical recovery is going for a jog or a bike ride at a moderate and relaxed pace, with your body as loose as possible. During this exercise, you are at 50 / 60% of your MHR (Maximum Heart Rate if you have a heart rate monitor), so at low intensity for 15 minutes. After your jog or bike ride, you should do some light stretches:  

Quadriceps Stretch (muscles at the front of the thigh)

While standing, bend your right leg and hold your right foot with your right hand. Bring your right thigh backwards while keeping your pelvis facing forward. Your left leg must stay straight during the stretch. You can use a wall to keep your balance. 2 x 6 seconds per leg.

 
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Hamstring Stretch

While standing, stretch out your right leg on the tennis net in front of you (or on a low wall) Lightly tilt your chest forward.

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Triceps Surae Stretch (calf muscle)

Position yourself facing a wall. Put the front of your right foot against the wall about 10 cm high while keeping your heel on the ground. Your left leg must be straight and slightly behind you to keep you balanced. Try to get your body as close as possible to the wall while keeping your foot, pelvis and shoulders aligned.

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Finish with a Relaxation Stretch

Lie down on your back. Slowly stretch your arms and legs as if you want to make yourself taller.

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Physical Recovery through Rehydration

During this period, hydration is extremely important. Your drink should be mineralized and rich in bicarbonates. Water and sodium for rehydration, bicarbonates for pH correction (as exercise lowers pH). Quite often forgotten about by sports people, magnesium is essential for the proper functioning of the human body. When it is deficient, recovery takes longer and performance levels drop. Sparkling water is a good source of sodium, magnesium and bicarbonates. Don’t be afraid to drink a lot of it after your tennis match.

Physical Recovery through Cold

For some years now, more and more top-level athletes have been taking ice baths or undergoing cryotherapy sessions in cool boxes so as to recover more quickly and to reduce muscle damage and inflammation. Even it cryotherapy centers are open to everybody nowadays, it is easier and less costly to apply cold yourself. A cold bath at a temperature of 15 °C/59*, for a few minutes, will lead to a quicker recovery. For more localized applications, you can use ice packs or ice bags. These can be applied for 5 to 15 minutes.

Recovery through Massage

In order to be effective, a sports massage must last between 20 and 30 minutes. Ideally, it should be carried out in a relaxing, temperate and calm place. Avoid noise, drafts and bright light. The direction of the massage is always from the end of the limb towards the base of the limb (for example, for a leg, from the ankle towards the knee; for an arm, from the elbow towards the shoulder).

Conclusion

After stretching:

1. Go for a light jog for 15 minutes

2. Stretch the hamstrings, quadriceps, calves and back (approximately 6 minutes)

3 Take an ice bath or shower (8 minutes)

4. Finish with a “relaxing” massage (10 minutes).

Don’t forget to drink sparkling water during this period.

Source: https://www.artengo.co.uk/advice/how-should-you-physically-recover-after-tennis-match-a_37660

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IF YOU HAVE SHOULDER PAIN WHEN YOU:

Reach​ up​ high
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WHAT YOU WILL LEARN AT THE ROTATOR CUFF AND SHOULDER WORKSHOP:
 

The​ Single​ Worst​ Position​ to​ Sleep​ in​ That​ Causes​ BIG​ Problems​ in​ the​ Shoulder​ and Rotator​ Cuff…
The​ #1​ Biggest​ Mistake​ People​ Suffering​ with​ Shoulder​ Pain​ Make​ Which​ Surprisingly Can​ Lead​ to Rotator​ Cuff​ ​ Surgery
The​ Common​ Causes​ of​ Rotator​ Cuff​ Problems…
The​ Top​ 3 Exercises​ for​ the​ Rotator​ Cuff…

 

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*Five Stars members will earn points on purchases but rewards cannot be redeemed on special offers. Offers cannot be combined. Court equipment & balls not included. Some dealer exclusions apply. Text "GSM" to 578277 (5Stars) to join our Five Stars loyalty program that rewards customer 1 point for each $1 spent as well as sends bonus offers@Game-Set-Match, Inc. & other participating stores! 

Exchange & Return Policy: Full refund on returns until January 10, 2019. Exchange/In-store credit until January 31, 2019.

 Get on the court with Game-Set-Match, Inc., your racquet sports one-stop shop!


Here at Game-Set-Match, Inc., we take pride in our customer service and selection. We're happy to speak with you about any questions or concerns you may have. 

 
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Topspin Tuesday Tip:

5 Mental Toughness Tips

GSM - October 10, 2017

TOPSPIN TUESDAY

 


5 Mental Toughness Tips
by Jeff Cooper
Updated May 29, 2017


Most tennis players are all too familiar with the difficulty of the mental half of tennis competition. The power of the mind is evident at every level, from Goran Ivanisevic or Jana Novotna at Wimbledon to an eight-year-old afraid to use any of her full strokes in her first tournament. Tennis is a gold mine for sports psychologists, and some players spend several hours each week just doing mental toughness exercises.


FIVE SIMPLE TECHNIQUES YOU CAN TRY RIGHT AWAY

1. The best all-around mental repair tool is the simple phrase, "only the ball." It cures, at least temporarily, most of the big pitfalls. Whether you're upset, angry, nervous, or just distracted, repeat this phrase to block out negative thoughts and return your focus to where it belongs, the ball.

2. Probably the hardest time to concentrate is when you're getting ready to return serve. Your opponent has the ball, so your mind seems to sense that this is an opportunity for a little time off. The next thing you know, your musings about which movie to watch tonight are rudely interrupted by a chunk of rubber and fuzz coming in at 90 m.p.h. A combination of three tactics can help keep your mind on the job:

While your opponent is preparing, try to focus on something undistracting, like your strings. (Strings get readjusted a lot more than needed because of this little trick.)
As she/he tosses the ball, try to watch it come out of her hand and say to yourself a long, drawn-out, "baaalll."
As she/he hits the serve, say "hit," followed by "bounce," then on your return swing, "hit."
The "baaalll" device seems to work well for most players without much of a downside. The "hit, bounce, hit" phrase is also popular but for some players it distracts more than it helps.


3. It's possible to become too analytical in the middle of a match, which will keep you from letting your strokes take their natural flow, but you don't want to shut down your analytical abilities either. If you miss a shot you shouldn't have, you'll dwell on it less if you take a moment to figure out what you did wrong, then say to yourself, "Okay, I won't do that again." It's usually a good idea to repeat the stroke right away with the correct motion. You might very well make the same error the next time the stroke comes up but just go ahead and apply the same process. Eventually you will get it right and, in the meantime, a little extra optimism won't hurt.

4. Learn versatility. If you have only one playing style and it's not working, your lack of strategic options also creates a shortage of mental safety valves. A key factor in psychological health, in general, is feeling empowered to choose different courses of action. If you have a Plan B, C, and D on the tennis court, the failure of Plan A is unlikely to cause despair. Tennis players often lose because at least a part of them secretly gives up. You won't give up while you have something else to try. Learn to play every part of the court and hit every kind of shot with every kind of spin.

You'll likely uncover a weakness in a seemingly invincible opponent. Variety makes the game more creative and interesting too.

5. Look alert, energetic, confident, and happy. Looking so will actually help you be so to a significant extent, and it will keep you from giving encouragement to your opponent. If your opponent is at all prone to choking, your look of ready confidence on the verge of seeming defeat might keep just enough doubt in her mind to make her cave under the pressure of closing out the match.


BOOKS WITH GOOD CHAPTERS ON MENTAL TOUGHNESS

Vic Braden's Tennis 2000: Strokes, Strategy, and Psychology for a Lifetime
Pat Blaskower's The Art of Doubles: Winning Tennis Strategies
For an entire book on mental toughness, check out Dr. James Loehr's Mental Toughness Training.

https://www.thoughtco.com/five-mental-toughness-tips-3208292
 
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Here at Game-Set-Match, Inc., we take pride in what we do. That's why we're happy to speak with you about any questions or concerns you may have.
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