Tennis is a very complicated sport which makes it difficult to put your finger on the ideas that will help in a match. My best results as a coach and a player have come when I have simplified my thoughts.
The most basic and helpful thought I have used is to watch the ball, all the way from the opponent's racquet to my racquet, and to keep repeating this process. Another good reminder is to recall the good points you have played in past matches and to try to repeat that type of point. Since there can be so many different thoughts going through your head depending on the match situation, these basic thoughts can make shot selection, movement and swing production more efficient and smooth.
Finally, remind yourself to focus on the following prior to playing a point: serve, return, be ready for the ball to come back, hit to the opening and cover the opening. These simple match thoughts can make all the difference and more often than not, the player who executes this better, comes out on top.
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis (http://www.annaconetennis.com) and MyHamptonsPro based in Sag Harbor, NY (http://www. myhamptonspro.com) and Tennis Professional at Ventana Canyon Golf and Racquet Club in Tucson, AZ. For details on lessons, clinics, or coaching, contact Steve at email@example.com or call 865-300-7323