Attn: Jake Nelson
August 1, 2001
By STAN CARTER
– STAFF WRITER
Last month I discussed moving
up to the next level by making changes to your tennis game. One of the great features in the sport of tennis is that you can
choose to make improvements. There is always a new chance to learn and perfect, a new strategy to develop, and a change to
However, you need to have
patience. Tennis is a complex game that uses a combination of physical and mental abilities. There is a lot to think of while
you are playing the game. If at first the shot doesn’t work, keep at it. Think of what your coach explained and if you
can put it together enough times in perfect practice you will bring it into your game. Have patience and let it develop. Let
the mind and body make the connections needed so the shot becomes your own.
You will also need to persevere
through the rough times. Just when you need to put on the pressure and win against your newest archrival, you may tighten
up and your new improvement will miss the mark. That is part of the process. Persevere through the tough times; keep going
through your loss of concentration, your opponent’s speed, the court conditions, the crowd gathering to admire your
abilities. You will discover and develop your own way to persevere.
Persist with what you know
will work. Check in with your coach about the principle of the change in strategy, movement, or stroke. The clearer you understand
the basics, the sooner the new improvement will develop. Keep working on it. Giving up part way through the training process
will not do you any good. Succeeding will enhance your game and your confidence.
There are many ways to practice
winning. Southern California
is filled with league play, club tournaments, challenge ladders, and many tournaments for all levels of ability. Part of the
reason for playing is to develop self-awareness. Learning strategies to improve your tennis game can also be applied in other
areas of your life. Apply what you learn to improve yourself.
Tip of the month: Talk with
your coach about your new improvement. Devote a lesson exclusively on it. Let him develop drills and play conditions to test
you. A coach can show you how to make it work. But only you can make it work for you. Go with the flow and you will find what
works for you. Get a practice partner to continue the drills. No need to get bored drilling for too long but you will change
faster with more concentrated perfect practice.
While you are playing for
points pick an opponent you can’t or don’t mind loosing to and practice your new shot repeatedly. Hit the new
shot when you know it will work, and also at times when you may not know. Find out how you are coming along. Find our where
it works the best. You will soon put it in your game plan and know when to use it and against what kind of player it will
work. This will help you develop the mental confidence to apply your patience, persistence, and perseverance to continue your
For further information or
instruction, contact Stan Carter, USPTA certified professional, at the Flint Canyon Tennis Club: 818-790-3355 or 213-321-8699. Info@StanTheTennisman.com