For most players that I coach, learning how to win does not make
sense! This is one of the reasons coaching is so difficult on any
level. All you have to do is coach for about a year and you will
see this strange phenomenon clearly. Are you wondering what in the
world I am talking about? To demonstrate this anomaly, follow the
conversation below between a coach and a student.
The student is in a practice match-play situation and advances to
the net after a beautiful approach shot. The approach shot just
misses and the student loses the point. The coach yells out. "Yes!
Way to go!" The student quickly retorts, "But I lost the point. How
is that going to help me win?" The coach explains, "You made the
right move, your mental attitude was great, you played the right
shot at the right time. You are on track." The student responds,
"But I missed the shot and lost the point." Now you can see, to
most players principles to win at tennis do not make sense!
In another situation the student plays a perfect point, maneuvering
into position to hit a relatively easy shot and close out the point.
The opponent who is at the net picks the direction of the passing
shot and volleys the ball back for a winner. The student is upset
and annoyed by the loss of a point that should have been his (or hers)!
The coach explains that losing this point does not matter and tells the
player to keep on playing. The student, befuddled by the coach's
comments, exclaims, "But I should have won the point!" Again, you see,
to most players principles to win at tennis do not make sense!
In both of these scenarios the correct mental reaction is the opposite
of what most players believe to be true. Most players would make an
issue out of the negatives that occurred. But that is not the attitude
that wins. Forgetting these situations IMMEDIATELY and moving on
quickly are mental skills exemplified by the best in the tennis world.
Why? Because the best in the world want to win! Do you?