Tips To Help You Win Your Next Match
Rather than going into a match with just the intention to win, having clear thoughts and plans to fall back on really helps. Here's how you can support yourself to win your next match:
Focus On The Current Point
Don’t let the fear of losing overwhelm you or the desperation to win make you tighten up. This happens to nearly every tennis player at some point. Stay in the moment, don't keep repeating past plays in your head. It doesn’t matter what has already passed it’s all about giving it your all in the next point.
Ted Lasso was right. It’s all about believing! In any scenario, there’s always a way to win. The blessing in tennis is that there’s no time limit, it’s not over until that last point is done! So fight for every point and believe!
Know The Score
Sounds simple but it’s often hard to keep track of the score and play at the same time. Don’t rely on the other player or team to know the score. There are several reasons for this. First, you don’t want to be cheated out of points. Most players are honest but not all! Second, you want to know what position you are in so you can change your tactics accordingly. For example, if you are at a pressure point in the match you probably want to play more conservatively vs going for too much.
Wear A Comfortable Outfit
Again sounds simple but it’s a huge factor when playing a match. I’ve had situations in the past where I’ve worn the wrong leggings and had to constantly pull them up during the match or had situations where I'm too hot or cold. Make sure you are comfortable with all items that you wear and are dressed appropriately for the weather!
Pick A Focus
Most tennis players are not master tacticians. It’s not so easy to figure out a game plan whilst in the middle of an actual game of tennis. If you struggle with that just keep it simple. Pick one thing to focus on throughout your match. It doesn’t even have to even be a game plan. It can be something simple that will help you get through staying focused such as covering as much of your court as you can using forehands.
Take Some Notes With You
In the moment it can be tough to remember any pre-laid plans or get a grip when your emotions are running high. Taking a small list of reminders with you can jog your memory about what's important. Even pro players do this. It can be something as simple as "have fun"!
Have A Ritual
A lot of people think having some kind of ritual is superstitious or overly OCD! But what it does help with is recentering your focus at that moment. There’s a lot of thinking time in tennis so your mind can either wander or get overactive. If you have a ritual or routine every time you serve or return you know in that moment you are recentered and ready to go.
Stick With What Works
If you do have a regular focus or style of play that you like to use don’t change it up. Stick with what you know works for you. Don’t get dragged into matching your opponent’s playing style or attempt anything too radical. Keep it simple.
For me personally, this is the hardest thing to do. It’s all so easy to take yourself too seriously but, unless you are playing to put food on the table and pay your bills, it ultimately doesn’t matter if you win or lose. Sure it’s nice to win matches and be successful but remember why you are playing in the first place. You are here to have fun and enjoy a good battle, not to suffer.
Use Your Changeover Time
Amateur players tend to not use their changeover time at all and perhaps just have a sip of water as they pass the bench. Use this time wisely. Take a breather and get your heart rate back down. Get enough fluids in and perhaps a little snack. Use this time to think about what you need to do for the rest of the match. Center at that moment like you would with a ritual.
All tennis player's personalities are different, pick which of these tips you think would work best for you. Share with us below (in the comments) what you find already works for you or any other tips you may want to share with other players. Also, let us know which of these tips has helped you. We love to hear from our readers.