Winning and losing is everything. It puts a whole new complexion on things when you win or lose.
- It’s far easier and comfortable, less confronting and emotional to just hit and not score.
- But real games, sports, competition requires the uncertainty of winning and losing.
- If you hit balls, it’s easy because if you miss, it doesn’t matter. There is no penalty.
- If you are playing a match, if you make a mistake, you lose a point. If you lose 4, you lose a game. And nobody likes being down 3-0, 4-0 or even 5-3.
- The scoring system in Tennis is unique and can be cruel. If someone is slightly better than you and can keep playing the same standard consistently, then you could have a very close match, but on the scoreboard, it could be 6-0 or 6-1.
- If you get beat 6-2, 6-1 or 6-0, don’t feel to bad, as you may have been very close to winning. You may only need to improve your game 5 or 10% and you could turn it around.
- So we encourage you to play matches frequently, as this is the only way you ca become a really good player. Hitting balls around won’t make you a good player, as competition and emotions is what brings out the best and worst in people.
Working on improving your game
Once you play matches, the great thing then is that you will discover exactly what areas of your game that you need to improve.
It could be
- Stroke or footwork technique
- The need to practice and drill a stroke to get accuracy, consistency, placement, power.
- Fitness: the need for more speed, strength or explosive power, agility, flexibility, stamina.
- Equipment – Shoes, racquet, string or grip
- Fuel: Nutrition, food or drink.
- Lack of sleep or rest
- Tactical or lack of practice or matchplay, not familiar with the court surface, wind, other conditions.
- Mental – worries, personal problems, psychological aspects, emotional control, the need for more positive attitude/thought/talk/body language, mental toughness, character traits like staying cool or not giving up, believing in yourself.
Testing Yourself Against Opponents
- Once you have improved your game in one or more of these areas, you can go back to matchplay and see where you are. If you can now do better against your arch nemesis.
- Note too that when you have been making technical changes to your game, you may go backward in matchplay before you go forward again, because the new parts of your game may still be conscious rather than unconscious decisions or actions. Only when you have practiced a new skill enough and then played in real match conditions, will your new improved strokes or strategies work under pressure.
- After Louis K played his first match today, I had to remind him this. It is normal to sometimes make some positive changes, but not play that well in the match straight away. It is playing unconsciously, performing skills without thinking, that allows you to play well. Louis said he was thinking too much. This is a common thing that people say when they are playing but thinking about what they are doing, instead of instinctively “hunting” to win and get on top of an opponent.
- It’s important to lower expectation when you are playing sometimes, to take the pressure off you trying too hard to win. Especially when you’ve made some changes. I said to Louis K, that you must be patient playing Tennis and working on your game to improve your standard. That you do literally have to hit a million balls. That improvement tales place over many months. That you often find you have improved after a break, as when you come back, you are doing the things you learned previously unconsciously now.
- I learned many years ago, that Tennis mirrors life. There are many ups and downs, but the test is always, if you can get knocked down and get back again. And how many times you can do it.
- That’s why our favourite sayings here at Tennis Blast are: “Never Give Up,” “Stay Cool” and “Believe In Yourself!”
- Tennis is well known as a tough individual sport that nurtures a strong Positive Mental Attitude.
- Character Building is our first and foremost benefit of being part of Tennis Blast.