nodot nodot
Tennis Warrior
February 2012 Article

Tennis Warrior Archive

Send a message to Tom

Get Tom Veneziano's book The Truth about Winning! at Amazon.com

Tennis Server

Do You Want To Be A Better Tennis Player?

Then Sign Up For A Free Subscription to the Tennis Server INTERACTIVE
E-mail Newsletter!

Tom Veneziano You will join 13,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano.
Best of all, it is free!

Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
WILD CARDS - Each month a guest column by a new writer.
BETWEEN THE LINES - Ray Bowers takes an analytical and sometimes controversial look at the ATP/WTA professional tour.
PRO TENNIS SHOWCASE - Tennis match reports and photography from around the world.
TENNIS SET - Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D. looks at tennis science, engineering and technology.
MORTAL TENNIS - Greg Moran's tennis archive on how regular humans can play better tennis.
HARDSCRABBLE SCRAMBLE - USPTA pro Mike Whittington's player tip archive.

Tennis Community Icon TENNIS COMMUNITY:

Tennis Book, DVD, and Video Index
Tennis Server Match Reports
Editor's Letter
Become a Tennis Server Sponsor

Explore The Tennis Net Icon EXPLORE THE TENNIS NET:

Tennis News and Live Tennis Scores
Tennis Links on the Web
Tennis Warrior Banner

Green Dot
Tennis Warehouse Logo
Green Dot


You Could Play Like Roger Federer, But You Won't!

Tom Veneziano Photo
Tom Veneziano

In a doubles drill, here are my instructions to students: "Play consistent, move the ball around and wait for the right opportunity (a high short ball) to hit the winner." They always reply, "Okay, I got it." The players then proceed to the court and begin the game. On the very first point, one of the players up at the net receives a low ball and Blam! goes for a winner.
I question that player. "What were you doing?" The answer, "I was trying to win the point."
"Trying to win the point! I thought you were supposed to wait for the right opportunity (a high short ball) to go for the winner!"
Players are constantly thinking one way but acting in another. The problem lies in a misunderstanding of what "trying to win a point" means. What does it mean to you? Does "trying to win a point" mean hitting the ball for a winner and ending the point? For most players this is exactly what it means.
If that is your definition of "trying to win a point" would you then say that when Roger Federer is strategically moving his opponent around the court he is not trying to win a point? Of course, that's absurd! Roger is definitely trying to win the point! He just realizes he can win tons of points without hitting winners. He clearly understands that "trying to win a point" is a process that is part strategic and part blasting the ball for a winner.
Unfortunately this is NOT the way most players approach match play. Subconsciously they think they must go for something big, blast the ball for a winner or do something spectacular to try and win a point. This is the main reason why players constantly agree to wait for the right shot to go for the winner, but in reality do the complete opposite. This incorrect mindset causes players to lose many, many more points than they should. Are you guilty?
Do you realize if you could adopt this new mindset you could mentally begin playing like Roger Federer? He is a master at blending strategic play with winners. In order to accomplish this change of mindset you must first understand what wins on the tennis court: consistency and control. From now on, think of "trying to win a point" as strategic play, moving the ball around the court while allowing your opponent to crumble under the pressure of your consistency. If, during the course of this strategic play, your opponent presents you with the opportunity to hit a winner - take it!
Of course, if you are going to adopt this new mindset you will have to develop some patience. To help you understand this concept and fight the impatient demons inside, I have an interesting drill that you can try. When teaching a doubles drill I have one side do whatever they want and the other side hit only medium pace shots (NO BLASTING WINNERS OR POWER SHOTS). They can hit a winner but they cannot add extreme power. If there is a violation that team loses the point. I'm the judge to determine whether the ball has been hit too hard.
More often than not, the team that is allowed to use power and go for winners loses, and the team that cannot use power wins. Why? Well, you should have that figured out by now. The team that cannot use power becomes a more consistent and controlled team, allowing the other team to make more errors. Sure, the other team can hit the ball harder but that does not mean they will hit the ball in the court! Hitting the ball faster, harder or with power does not automatically translate into winning. The principle: POWER WITHOUT CONTROL IS MEANINGLESS.
Interestingly, the team that cannot use power begins placing the ball all over the court. Since that team is devoid of power they instinctively begin looking for other options. This causes them to strategically look for openings to move the ball around. Bingo! They are mentally playing like Mr. Federer.
In conclusion, remember "trying to win a point" is a process that is part strategic and part going for winners. And unbeknownst to the majority of players, most points are won in the strategic, patient phase of a point, and not in the winner phase.

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Tennis Warrior Archive

If you have not already signed up to receive our free e-mail newsletter Tennis Server INTERACTIVE, you can sign up here. You will receive notification each month of changes at the Tennis Server and news of new columns posted on our site.

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.

Audio CDs by Tom Veneziano:


Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
Australian Open Tickets
Dallas Open Tickets
Delray Beach Open Tickets
ATX Open Tickets
Mexican Open Tickets
BNP Paribas Open Tickets
Miami Open Tickets
Credit One Charleston Open Tickets
US Men's Clay Court Championships Tickets
Wimbledon Tickets
Citi Open Tennis Tournament Tickets
Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic Tickets
National Bank Open Womens Tennis Canada Tickets
Odlum Brown Van Open r Tickets
Tennis In The Land Tickets
US Open Tennis Championship Tickets
Laver Cup Vancouver Tickets


Popular Tennis books:
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis-Lessons from a Master by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance by Jeff Greenwald
The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
Most Recent Articles:
October 2022 Tennis Anyone: Patterns in Doubles by John Mills.
September 2022 Tennis Anyone: Short Court by John Mills.




"Tennis Server" is a registered trademark and "Tennis Server INTERACTIVE" is a trademark of Tennis Server. All original material and graphics on the Tennis Server are copyrighted 1994 - by Tennis Server and its sponsors and contributors. Please do not reproduce without permission.

The Tennis Server receives a commission on all items sold through links to Amazon.com.


Tennis Server
Cliff Kurtzman
791 Price Street #144
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Phone: (281) 480-6300
Online Contact Form
How to support Tennis Server as a Sponsor/Advertiser
Tennis Server Privacy Policy