Tennis is a multifaceted sport.
Putting everything together is not easy. Once you get to be a good striker of the ball and understand the combinations of shots that can help win the point, the outcome of the match basically comes down to the mental aspect. The best players are great at experiencing difficulty during the match, but still approaching things in a positive way. They are able to wipe the slate clean, just go back to some basic ideas, and play the next point the best that they can-as if the last point never happened.
This sounds easy talking about it or writing about it, but dealing with the emotions associated with losing a point or struggling with your shots can be overwhelming. The tendency is to overthink, resulting in way too many things going through your head as you play the point.
Try to focus on the shot you are about to hit, the point you are about to play, and the most basic ideas you can use to help win the next point. Watch the ball, try to run down every shot, and use your normal swings each time you hit the ball. Most matches come down to how well you are able to do this. In addition, winning enough matches in a row to win the tournament, improve your ranking, or to be a very good player is also dependent on your mindset.
The ability to succeed is all mental.
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis, www.annaconetennis.com and MyHamptonsPro, www.myhamptonspro.com throughout the Hamptons, NY. In addition, Steve and Miguel Coelho have introduced the JET (Junior Elite Tennis) program at the Tucson Jewish Community Center (Tucson, AZ) for high level players ages 8-18. Please contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org