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Tennis Warrior
December 2002 Article

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Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior articles are archived onto the Web six months after they are first published in our free email newsletter, Tennis Server INTERACTIVE. You can receive Tom's most recent columns by subscribing to Tennis Server INTERACTIVE using the subscription box in the left side column of this page.

 
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Learn to play badly well!

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Tom Veneziano

You may think that is a strange title, but it will all make sense in a moment. When you are in a match you will always experience cycles from good to bad, bad to good, back to bad again. This is the nature of sports and it's your responsibility to be mentally prepared for these cycles. Once you learn to adapt effectively to these cycles, life on the tennis court can become beautiful.

Often players play well for 15 minutes, then all of a sudden they begin playing poorly (and you thought it only happened to you!). Maybe they are just a little tired or maybe their opponent is playing spectacular tennis. Whatever the reason, they are definitely in a down cycle fighting to stay in the match.

When this scenario happens to you, here is a mental tip that the top pros have mastered. YOU MUST LEARN TO PLAY BADLY WELL WHEN YOU'RE IN A DOWN CYCLE!

For example, on a scale of one to ten (ten being the up cycle and one being the down cycle) you're playing poorly at level four. When you are in a bad cycle the trick is to understand that this is normal and part of the winning process. You must fight to stay at that level until momentum begins shifting back in your direction. In other words you learn to play poorly better than most. How? By mental toughness! What happens to most players in their down cycles is they lose their mental fight, become frustrated, develop a negative mindset, and plummet into the three, two, or one level. Instead of fluctuating between ten and four in their match play they are now fluctuating between ten and one!

Now you tell me, if everything is equal and one player is fluctuating between ten and one and the other is fluctuating between ten and four... who will win?

Everyone fluctuates in match play, but it should be obvious that your mentally tough competitors MINIMIZE their down time by MAXIMIZING their mental skills during these pressure situations. The top pros are well aware that part of winning is an inner desire to own that extra intangible inch that catapults their game onto victory.

The only question that remains is... when you are confronted with this predicament will you posses the mental skills necessary to play badly better than most? Since reading this tip, you should!

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This column is copyrighted by Tom Veneziano, all rights reserved.

Tom is a tennis pro teaching at the Piney Point Racquet Club in Houston, Texas. Tom has taught thousands of players to think like a pro with his Tennis Warrior System.

     

In Tom Veneziano's book "The Truth about Winning!", tennis players learn in a step-by-step fashion the thinking the pros have mastered to win! Tom takes you Step-by-step from basic mental toughness to advanced mental toughness. All skill levels can learn from this unique book from beginner to professional. No need to change your strokes just your thinking.

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