November 29, 2002, Newsletter Issue #50: 10 Steps to Tougher Tennis

Tip of the Week

1. Focus on the seams. By doing so, you`ll be less apt to "wander" during the point mentally.

2. Play one point at a time. Don`t worry about what just happened, and don`t focus on what "might happen" in 3 points.

3. Practice concentrating. When you practice your strokes, practice like it`s a match, so that you can improve your powers of focus.

4. Think positive thoughts. The easiest way to do this is to ask yourself positive questions. By doing this, you`ll get positive answers.

5. Don`t change your mind. Do what you do best, and don`t second-guess yourself in the midst of a point.

6. Take time between points. Watch the best players, and how they use that time. It`s the time to "refocus", and think through your game plan. It`s also the time to get back into your positive mindset.

7. Establish routines. Rituals are also a very important part of the "flow" of your match. It may be fiddling with your strings, breathing out, or bouncing the ball.

8. Use cue words. Bounce, hit, or relax, deep, are examples that keep you from getting caught up in focusing on your mechanics.

9. Use imagery. Chris Evert mentioned that she could visualize the outcome of her match prior to its commencement. Though you don`t need to be this advanced, it`s helpful to use visualization techniques to achieve the desired result.

10. Set reachable goals. Bite-size goals that are achievable in short spans of time are better than a massive goal not attainable for months.

11. Enjoy yourself. Have fun!

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