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Patience, Perserverance, Persistence

Attn: Jake Nelson




August 1, 2001











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 make.


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 winning ways.




For further information or instruction, contact Stan Carter, USPTA certified professional, at the Flint Canyon Tennis Club: 818-790-3355 or 213-321-8699.

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