Commentators on tv constantly say that tennis is a game of inches.
They are right! It is a game of inches. 5 Inches to be exact from your left ear to your right ear unless you have a very big head. Tennis is more then just hitting the ball, it is the ability to control your nerves to play your best at the right moment, with the right shot, at the right time.
The Test of a Good Player
Ask yourself the following questions to measure your progress toward becoming a good player.
- Covering the Court
- Hit the ball
- Control my shots
- Setting up the points
- Control my nerves
- Learn from my mistakes
- Intimidate my opponents
- Pressure my opponent
- Enjoy the battle
- Handle the outcome
Control My Nerves
There are good nerves and bad nerves. Good nerves make your feet move faster and your brain more alert. If this makes you play better, stick with it. If it causes you to overhit, you may want to try to calm down with some deep breathing, etc. Usually this happens at the beginning and you settle down as the match progresses.
Bad nerves make you freeze up. Your feet won’t move, your arm tightens up or you are afraid to hit the ball over 10 mph. If it is your feet, jump up and down while waiting for your opponent’s serve. If it is your arm, shake it between points. If you are afraid to stroke the ball, prepare early and then pause before starting your swing. Be sure to follow through.
If you tense up in every important match, tell yourself it is only practice and try out all your weapons. But let your opponent think it is life or death. Smile and forget the rest.