Views from the court.
I am publishing the January newsletter early this year so that I have
The chance to wish all subscribers a Very happy Christmas and to also
hope that 2013 will be an even better year than 2012.
I know that lots of coaches are feeling the pinch in their earning and this is for a number of reasons -
The state of the economy - clients cutting back due to lack of money - poor weather etc.
We have to be creative in these situations to make more money.
I received the following interesting article from coach Tom Veneziano -
www.tenniswarrior.com - "Where you can learn to think like a pro."
Mental Toughness vs. Emotional Weakness in Tennis
The Mental Toughness Sphere versus the Emotional Sphere. In which Sphere do you reside during
most of your matches? Can you recognize whether you are controlled by your emotions or controlled
by your mind? Do you know what to do if you become mired in the Emotional Sphere?
A major part of learning how to win is becoming aware of when your emotions take control and what to
do about it. You must bring yourself back under the power of the Mental Toughness Sphere. But how?
First, understand the differences between the two spheres of thinking:
The Emotional Sphere is characterized by subjectivity (taking your mistakes personally), over-thinking
(paralysis by analysis), and dwelling on past failures.
The Mental Toughness Sphere is characterized by objectivity (not taking mistakes personally), correct
thinking using a relaxed mental attitude, and playing in the here and now.
You know you are in the Emotional Sphere when negatives, mistakes, and failures become more
paramount in your mind than the next shot. You must quickly recognize this and switch back into the
Mental Toughness Sphere. How? Simple! Apply the Refocus Technique. After you make a mistake,
repeat to yourself "The next shot is more important than the last mistake, the next shot is more important
than the last mistake." Do not serve or return serve until you have cleared your mind of the last mistake.
You must refocus and move on. Immediately!
The Refocus Technique is the recovery technique that brings you back into the Mental Toughness
Sphere. Although this is a simple technique and sounds easy, it is amazing how many players cannot
forget their mistakes and move on. Instead, they become entangled in the Emotional Sphere.
Listen to some of the answers players give me when I tell them to use the Refocus Technique. Each
answer is followed by my response. I warn you though, I do not pull any punches. Read on at your
Player: "But I missed such an easy shot!" My response: "I did not say forget your mistakes and move
on only for difficult shots! The Refocus Technique is for ALL mistakes."
Player: "I practiced for months and I still make the same mistakes." My response: "Practice more.
Forget your mistakes and move on!"
Player: "I cannot win if I keep making these mistakes." My response: "Says who? You! Have you ever
heard of mental toughness? Forget your mistakes, get back in the Mental Toughness Sphere, and
How is that for being blunt? The point I am trying to make is that the thought process of forgetting the
mistake is more important than the mistake itself. As the great professional golfer Gary Player stated,
"We create success or failure on the course
primarily by our thoughts."
Let me graphically demonstrate how this works. When you make a mistake on the court and do not
forget it, that mistake festers in your mind. If the mistake festers too long it will begin seeping toward
your emotions. Once the mistake hits your emotions, it is quickly blown out of proportion. Then this
shoots back toward your mind, where it now takes on a whole new meaning. The failure completely
clouds your mind. From this point on, everything you think is filtered through this oppressive cloud of
You are now firmly focused on the problem and steeped in the Emotional Sphere. Your mind is
influenced by your emotions instead of your emotions being influenced by your mind!
Your only hope to remove this cloud of negativity and restore mental order is the Refocus Technique:
The next shot is more important than the last mistake. You will then be back under the power of the
Mental Toughness Sphere. The home of Champions!
Many thanks Tom.
Tennis tip for january
The Return of Serve
There are basically two types of return of the serve, that is excluding the lob.
1/. A deep drive when you hit and remain at your baseline
2/. A shot hit short into your opponent’s court.
These returns can be hit flat, with top spin or with under spin (slice).
The object of the deep drive is primarily to keep the opponent behind their baseline in a defensive mode
and to pull them out of position by hitting a wide cross court or perhaps to hit a clean winner.
The short shot can be used to bring your opponent into the net – to hit towards the feet of the serve and
volley player, or to hit an outright winner using an acute cross court angle.
It should be remembered that if the return of serve is a good one then there is the opportunity to follow
the ball into the net to take up an offensive position.
You can practice your return of serve by having your tennis partner stand on their service line and to hit
varying types of serves to several parts of your service box. They should vary the speed and spin to
simulate both first and second serves, so that you have to react, move quickly and deliver effective
To see another drill which helps both the server and returner below.
SDSV1417 Serve/Return drill
1/. First serve
2/. Endeavouring to return those serves
The server does first serves only and hits
the ball as hard as he can.
The returned tries to return the serve - they
should do this whether the ball is in or out.
The players then play games - either singles ot doubles.
The server has three serves i.e two first serves - the object to being to hit the first serve as hard as
Serious game for January
GAARSD2004 Davies Cup
This is a great game to play when you have a number of players in a squad - it is also very
suitable for adults.
Serious competition - the way the game is devised makes it competitive and interesting.
The squad is divided into two equal teams each with a captain.
The captains are in charge of their teams.
Play can be all singles - doubles or a mixture.
The pro allocates the courts as 1st - 2nd - 3rd etc.
The captain chooses their teams for either singles or doubles etc, and allocates them as
First, second and so on. This is done without the other team knowing where the pairs are
Going - so there can be no arranging to benefit either team.
Play is divided into rounds which are timed - when the pro knows the teams are ready, the
Pro tells the pairings to go to their court. And play is started. Pro can decide on sudden death
at deuce to ensure a number of games are played.
Each round must feature different singles and doubles pairing so there is plenty of interest,
Each round is played as a rubber i.e. the court winning the most games is award one point,
A draw is equalled and half a point is awarded.
Players are made aware of their teams score as this makes it more interesting and they then
Play harder if they are down.