Coaches and Tennis Enthusiasts!
The mental aspect of the game has proven to be equally important if not more important in determining the outcome of your match. This applies to all levels. There are several ways recreational players lose due to mental toughness. The main thing I see and hear from my players is they lose focus. They let up after winning the first set, they play topsy-turvy (win 3 games lose 3 games), they play tie breakers poorly, and like this clip they just hit random shots with no thought process. (This is rampant amongst recreational players). These players generally have poor shot selection which results in unforced errors.
When working with recreational players we have to become super creative in practices and clinics in order to work on mental toughness. In my clinics, I generally work on a certain tactic and then focus on the players applying that in match play. When my players don’t apply it, I call them out on it!
Problem: Loss of focus
1) Have a mental plan before each point. (Your shots reflect your brain)
2) Practice tie breakers
3) On big points stick to your go to tactic
4) Practice situational match play to recreate real match problems, i.e. play sets starting at different scores
Coaches… we need to respect recreational players as competitive athletes that want to be the best they can be. This means we cannot hold back!
And remember… you don’t have to be a pro to train like a pro!