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A Plan To Move On From Your Mistakes
by Tom Veneziano

A phrase I use often is - recovering from a mistake is more important than the mistake itself. Forgetting mistakes and moving on is one of the keys to playing more relaxed, automatic, and instinctive tennis. You must constantly practice forgetting your mistakes and moving on. The reason you must practice constantly is because human nature has trouble moving on from their failures. It is universal! Yet, everyone knows to succeed you must make mistakes. Odd, isn't it? We all know this, but have a difficult time applying it when we are failing.

Here is a plan to help you practice recovering from your failures when you are playing. The next time you make a mistake do not attempt to make any correction or analyze what you have done wrong. Just forget your mistake and move on to the next point. If you begin thinking, "if I had done this or that I would have made that shot," ignore it and move on to the next point. Do you think you can do that? What did you say? How are you going to make corrections and improve if you do not analyze your failures? Good question!

Let me refer back to the phrase I stated in the beginning of this lesson. Recovering from the mistake is more important than the mistake itself. Since recovering from the mistake is more important than the mistake itself you should spend a lot of time practicing recovering without analyzing. Many times players analyze to come up with a reason why they failed, which makes them feel better about their failure. This makes it easier for them to now move on. How about trying to move on from your failures without a reason why you failed. Just accept it as part of the game and move on to the next point.

After you have mastered the art of forgetting your mistakes and moving on, then you can analyze. At this point you will begin to analyze without over thinking every failure. I believe they call it paralysis by analysis! Most players over think their failures instead of accepting them as part of the journey toward success. Now, please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying you should never analyze. What I am saying is most players analyze too much and recover much too slowly. They want reasons for every failure. How about this reason - you just missed!!! This is my challenge to you. For one month, do not, and I repeat, do not analyze any of your mistakes - just move on to the next point. Play like most pros play. Most pros quickly move on from their failures and are ready for the next point. They realize this is crucial for their long term success. I challenge you for one month to do what most pros do automatically and you too will think like a pro!

Keep practicing this concept and you will begin to see many new mental options open up that you did not even know existed. You will have a glimpse into a mental arena where few dare to journey. The question is, are YOU ready for the trip? I think you are, but remember not much baggage is allowed!


Tom Veneziano has been a tennis pro teaching in Houston, Texas for over twenty-five years. He has taught thousands of players to think like a pro with his Tennis Warrior System, which is described on his web site at www.tenniswarrior.com.

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