It’s hard for us to understand how our attitude can play such a big role in the outcome of a tennis match. Most players believe that if they hit the ball well, use the right strategy, and take advantage of their opportunities, they will win. However, if the other player is matching your hitting skill, has a good strategy, and takes advantage of their opportunities, the attitude that you have can make all the difference.
First, if the opponent sees that you are upset, irritated, frustrated, or just plain miserable when things go wrong, this is going to give them a lot of confidence moving forward in the match. On the other hand, if they see that you are not being bothered by the things that are going wrong on the court, or by the great play on the other side of the net, they become unsure about how the match will go.
I am always amazed at the top players' ability to totally dismiss a point that did not go their way, and then proceed to play a great point following their missed opportunity. They seem to be able to play as if the unsuccessful point never even happened. The attitude of these top players is that if they are given five chances to break serve, hold serve at a crucial time, win an important point, or get to s a set point in their favor, they will be successful more often than not and therefore, will eventually win the match.
This winning attitude is very often the difference in a match and we need to try to replicate the idea even if there are disappointments along the way.
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis, www.annaconetennis.com and MyHamptonsPro, www.myhamptonspro.com throughout the Hamptons, NY. In addition, Steve and Miguel Coelho have introduced the JET (Junior Elite Tennis) program at the Tucson Jewish Community Center (Tucson, AZ) for high level players ages 8-18. Please contact Steve at email@example.com