nodot nodot
Tennis Warrior
April 2018 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 16,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano that won't be found on the web site.
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.
MENTAL EQUIPMENT - Explore the mental side of the game with Dr. John Murray.
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

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.

Green Dot
Tennis Warehouse Logo
Green Dot

Play Fearless Tennis - In Practice and In Matches

Tom Veneziano Photo
Tom Veneziano

Playing instinctive and spontaneous tennis is your key to better play. In order to play instinctively you must learn to put yourself on automatic. What stops most players from doing this? The answer... FEAR! Fear of missing, fear of mistakes, fear of failure. This is true for everyone, even professionals. Fear of missing is an obstacle we all must overcome. If you would like to play on automatic and win the battle of fear here are a few pointers.
First, practice going for your shots in your practice matches -- whether you miss, fail, or lose. In other words, give yourself the freedom to go for your shots. Stop trying to mentally control every little move you make. Let yourself go. Now, this idea of going for your shots does not mean to pulverize every ball with blinding speed or power. Letting go is the absence of mental tentativeness or cautiousness when hitting your shots. You can hit the ball with power or with a deft drop shot and mentally be letting go. This is crucial to developing the freedom to go for your shots.
Second, if you're going to adopt this attitude you must not fear missing. You cannot give yourself the freedom to go for your shots if you are spending all of your time trying NOT to fail. Give yourself the freedom to go for your shots, and if you miss... accept it. Failure is part of success. In fact, failure and success are the same. The only difference is, success gets up and keeps going.
You must learn to deal with your failures by taking responsibility for them. One of the main reasons this is so difficult is because most players do not practice dealing with their mistakes properly. They're too busy being angry or rationalizing their mistakes, instead of just accepting them and moving on.
What do you do if you want to play instinctive and automatic tennis? You must consistently practice these two mental habits:

  1. Give yourself the freedom to go for your shots.
  2. Learn to deal with your mistakes and failures by accepting them and moving on.

Like many players, you may be able to let go and hit your shots in your practice sessions but not under pressure in matches. Letting go is one of the most difficult mentally tough principles to integrate into your pressure matches. It requires a decision on your part to not be scared and to go for your shots. There are no magic pills or sophisticated formulas that will help you accomplish this goal. Fearless play in matches requires time and match-play practice where you are constantly challenging yourself to make the correct decisions.
Whether or not you fail is not the issue. The first step is learning to make the decision to put yourself on the line and go for it. If you fail, do not let the negative consequence of that decision stop you from making the same decision in your upcoming matches.
Of course, you are not alone in integrating your relaxed, practice play into pressured, match-play situations. Many top pros also play tentatively at crucial moments in match play. How do they deal with this situation? The same way you should learn to deal with it. They become determined not to play tentatively or cautiously in their next matches.
Sam Querrey, currently ranked number 21 in the world, had the same "practice versus match play" dilemma that you do. After a big loss, he resolved to let go of his shots more, telling reporters that "the next time you see me I won't be rolling the ball over at deuce." He went on, "I learned today that I need to take more chances and hit the ball much bigger on the big points. I need to step up in those situations. You can work on that in practice all you want, but it's not the same. You've got to do it in matches. If you fly the ball long, at least you're going to lose the way you want to lose."
"I was just scared to do it. You can't be scared."
Sam's statement is loaded with excellent mental toughness principles. Most important: You can't be scared! My challenge to you as a Tennis Warrior is, the next time you play a match will we see you becoming tentative and scared or will we see you stepping up and going for your shots?

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.
Swiss Indoors Basel Tickets
Oracle Champions Cup Houston Tickets
Nitto ATP Finals Tickets
2020 Australian Open Tickets
2020 Delray Beach Open Tickets
2020 BNP Paribas Open Tickets
2020 Miami Open Tickets
2020 US Men's Clay Court Championships Tickets
2020 Volvo Car Open Tickets
2020 French Open Tickets
2020 Wimbledon Tickets
2020 Tokyo Summer Games Tennis Tickets
2020 Rogers Cup Tickets
2020 Western & Southern Open Tickets
2020 US Open Tickets


Popular Tennis books:
Smart Tennis by John Murray
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:
September 2019 Tennis Anyone: Total Recall by John Mills.
Tennis Warrior: Have you had a paradigm shift yet? by Tom Veneziano.
August 2019 Tennis Anyone: In the Past by John Mills.
Tennis Warrior: Learning to Play Under Pressure by Tom Veneziano.




"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.


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