Playing instinctive and spontaneous tennis is your key to better
play. In order to play instinctively you must learn to put yourself on automatic. What stops most players from doing this?
The answer...FEAR! FEAR of missing, FEAR of mistakes, FEAR of failure. This is true for everyone, even professionals. Fear of missing is a battle we all must overcome. If you would like to play on automatic and win
the battle of fear here's a few pointers.
First, practice going for your
shots in your practice matches whether you miss, fail, or lose. In other words, give yourself the
freedom to go for your shots. Stop trying to mentally
control every little move you make... let yourself go. Just do it!
Second, if you're going to adopt
this attitude you must not fear missing. You cannot give yourself the freedom to go for your shots if you are spending all
of your time trying NOT to fail. Give yourself the
freedom to go for your shots andif you miss...accept it. Failure is part of success. In fact,
and success are the same...the only difference is success gets up and keeps going.
You must learn to deal with your failures by taking
for them. One of the main reasons this is so
difficult is because most players do not practice dealing
with their mistakes
properly. They're too busy being angry or
rationalizing their mistakes, instead of just accepting them
and moving on.
What do you do?
If you ever hope to play instinctive and automatic tennis you must consistently practice these two mental habits.
Give yourself the freedom to go for your shots.
2. Learn to deal with your mistakes and failures by accepting them
and moving on.
A new player or a player whom you have
not played for a while remember the following plan:
- Start by attempting to play your game.
- Dont panic, but when it is time to change your game plan, begin to
- If you have probed effectively, you will discover one or more weaknesses.
Make certain you pound these weaknesses relentlessly. Dont be subtle about it. Just hammer away until your opponent
finds a way to deal with these troublesome shots and/or combination of shots.
- Unless you are very fortunate, you will eventually need to rebound.
Return to your original game plan, and be willing to change to any plan that brings desired results. Do not be surprised if
you change plans quite a few times during a long match.
I am sure that if you follow this procedure in matches with unknown
or new opponents, you will experience the kind of results that will make you a tennis overdog!
as if you were used to it, lose as if you enjoyed it for a change. -Erick Golnik