Why You Should Never Be Intimidated By Your
One of the toughest things to deal with mentally can be when you
are hitting up with your opponent before a match, and they are showing you an absolutely awesomely wide repertoire or arsenal
of shots that they possess!
Some opponents during the hitup - rather than hitting their groundstrokes
within your general range when you are at the net - will prefer to display to you their acutely angles passing shots, topspin
lobs or flat-out blasts of power - purely as an intimidation tactic!
When this happens however (and it will happen), never, ever be worried
about this - this does not mean you are going to lose the match. The flair and talent your opponent displays in this very
low-pressure environment of the hitup will count for absolutely nothing - once they are forced to try and hit these shots
under the true pressure of a match.
Tennis history is scattered with countless sad stories of incredibly
talented and hugely gifted players who never managed to take full advantage of this enormous talent - often because they relied
too much on their talent and simply did not work as hard, or become as mentally tough, as the less-talented players. Talent
alone these days simply doesn't cut it anymore - they have to put in the work as well (physically and mentally). So if you've
put in the work, you have nothing to worry about.
And so even if you feel that your opponent has more shots, flair
and touch than you do, don't worry - there are still many ways for you to win. If you're fit enough, you can always outlast
them, and if you're mentally tough enough, you will relentlessly wear them down. Talent alone is not enough - always remember
Sure - these ultra-talents often begin their matches with a flurry
of huge winners and aces - but it's not a case of what your opponent can do in the match, it's a case of "how long can they
continue to do it?".
Often the answer is: not long enough! The longer you stay in the
match, and the more you can continue to (at least) remain even with them score-wise at the beginning of the first set (and
withstand the initial onslaught) - the better your chances of running out a routine 6-4 6-1 win.
The key is - never to begin the match feeling intimidated by their
sheer talent, power, speed, spin, or whatever - the truly important thing will be what they can bring out when under pressure.