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What To Look For When Watching A Professional Match
Most people focus on the spectacular shots and miss the true
dynamics... consistency and control!
- The pros are not always going for winners! Watch as they
strategically move the ball around looking for an opening to
go for the gold. Most club players play in what I call the
"hit winners mindset," always trying to do something spectacular.
Not so with the pros!
- Watch for deep approach shots as the pros venture to the net.
But then watch how easily they get passed when they hit a short
- When pros come to the net and get passed, do they think to
themselves, "I'm not going to do that again, I got passed"?
No, instead they wait for another opportunity to put pressure
on their opponent and come up to the net again. I've watched
many club matches and if one player comes to the net and gets
passed or lobbed over his head, that's it for coming to the
net....they just stop! The pros are relentless in their
pursuit to keep pressure on their opponent.
- Most of the top players are masters at forgetting their
mistake and moving on. Watch as they hit a bad shot, brush
it off and keep moving. They may have an outburst of
frustration, but then they are back on the move. (When a pro
is playing poorly or has a bad break, put yourself in their
shoes and see how you would react!)
- Watch for up and down cycles in the match. First, one player
has the momentum, then the other and so on. Cycles are part of
matches and should be understood as reality, so when you are in
a down cycle just keep plugging along. Good and bad cycles on
the tennis court will always repeat themselves. Your job is to
think like a pro and deal with them.
- Watch for the pros to split-step every time their opponent hits
the ball -- ready to run quickly in any direction. If you are not
familiar with the split-step, watch when one player is returning
serve. You will see the receiver jump a little off the ground and
land with his or her feet spread apart; this is called the
- Watch how the pros warm up slowly. A pro is not trying to win the
warm-up by blasting winners! What do you do when you warm up?
Remember, when watching a professional match, keep your mind off the
spectacular and on the control and consistency that is the signature
of a champion!
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This column is copyrighted by Tom Veneziano, all rights
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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