Attn: Jake Nelson
September 10, 2001
TENNISMAN– STAFF WRITER
Time for Tournament Play, first in a series.
So you have rallied for hours,
hit hundreds of practice serves, cross court forehands…now what? Let’s test your game out for real. Let’s
sign up for a local TENNIS TOURNAMENT!
Wait, it’s OK, don’t
panic. You are not expected to win, this time. Playing for real will just help define your overall game. You can draw from
your training and see how to make it work. When the points count you will go to your natural shots and figure out if that
is enough to win. Hopefully, in the process, you will discover it is more fun to win. Striving to improve and to eventually
win will make the hours of practice more meaningful, and carry a sense of purpose.
Tournament play will test
you physically, technically, and mentally. The action will test your nerves, concentration, and problem solving capabilities.
You may have developed a game plan, now you can find out how it works against an opponent, when every point counts.
Playing tournament matches
teaches you to develop your game on your own. There is no coaching during a match. You have to execute your plan, analyze
the opponent, and figure out a way to win. As you develop your physical abilities, technique, theory, and mental strength,
you will find that the mental side of the game will become more important than the physical.
The points go quickly. You
will develop the ability to start strong, study the opponent, understand your play, and concentrate for the full length of
the match. All your senses will be elevated. Emotions may get out of control and need to be put in check. Use the excitement
and emotion as an advantage. You will learn a great deal about your self in a short time.
Tip of the month: Sharply
define your goal for the match. The general thought of “just win” is not always realistic, and hard to achieve.
Your success will depend on what you define as your goals before the match. Typical points to develop are the number of first
serves in, or the number of wins versus errors. Match play will test your ability to concentrate, and put on pressure at key
points of the game. Learn to recognize the importance of key points. The more often you play matches the more you will relax
and get to know yourself.
The next part of the series
will discuss the venue.
For further information or
instruction, contact Stan Carter, USPTA certified professional, at the Flint Canyon Tennis Club: 818-790-3355 or 213-321-8699. You are invited to please email questions and comments to Info@StanTheTennisman.com. Website under construction.