A friend asked me recently what the difference is between the very best tennis players in the world and the players who are not quite at the top of the game. I believe the one attribute that separates the best from the rest is their ability to deal with adversity.
These players keep the same mentality regardless of the difficulties they encounter along the way. Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Simona Halep, Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova, Andy Murray, and Caroline Wozniacki have all faced many obstacles during, and after, their journey to being No. 1in the world.
We have all heard the advice about “playing every point the same way”. This is what these players do better than the rest, regardless of what has happened. It is human nature to remember past disappointments and let that influence the way the next point is played. The top players have found a way to overcome this tendency and more often than not, come out on top.
Practice starting with a clean slate prior to the upcoming point and use the same mentality that you have on the first point of the match.
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis, www.annaconetennis.com and MyHamptonsPro, www.myhamptonspro.com in East Hampton, NY . Steve is also a tennis professional at Ventana Golf and Country Club in Tucson, AZ. In addition, Steve and Miguel Coelho have introduced the JET (Junior Elite Tennis) program at the Tucson Jewish Community Center for high level players ages 8-18. Please contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org