I received an email from one of my readers, Francis Perry,
who purchased my book, The Truth About Winning. Francis asked
if he was on the right track with one of my principles. He
came up with what I thought was a perfect corollary to my
phrase, "the next shot is more important than the last
mistake." Below are his comments:
In re-reading "THE TRUTH ABOUT WINNING" I have a question on
page 29, The Refocus Technique, about the key phrase "The next
shot is more important than the last mistake." Here is my
question: would you consider this a corollary to that phrase?
"The next shot is more important than the last brilliant winner."
The idea being to stay focused on the present and not get
distracted by whatever has gone on in the past. I'm certainly
not trying to modify what you've presented, only trying to
clarify it for myself, and get your input on whether or not
I'm on the right track.
I thought this was a perfect additional concept! The main
principle is to clear your mind of any distraction that stops
you from focusing on your next shot. Whether a mistake or a
brilliant winner, both can distract you from total concentration
on your next shot. The "last mistake" is your obvious
distraction, but your "brilliant winner" can be the most subtle
distraction. There is nothing wrong with enjoying your great
shot, but when you're on the line to serve or return serve you
MUST let go and focus on the job at hand. Often when players
think about how well they are playing or about their last
brilliant shot, that subtle distraction can become their
nemesis when playing their next shot, game, or set!
What comes to my mind is a little ploy that some players use
when their opponent is serving well. On the change over they
quietly say to their opponent, "you are serving really well
today." With puffed up confidence, the opponent then begins
dwelling on how well he or she is serving and loses his or her
So the last mistake, a brilliant winner, a bird flying overhead,
or your mother-in-law calling you on the cell phone :) does not
matter. The principle is the same: Focus on the shot at hand,
clear your mind of ANY distractions and keep moving.
Thank you Francis for your "brilliant winner" concept!