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Tennis Warrior
October 2005 Article

Tennis Warrior Archive

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Stay out of your own way!

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Tom Veneziano

The rate of learning must exceed the rate of forgetting! One important principle that you may have forgotten is to not let your negative situations distract you from your long term goals. In other words, stay out of your own way! This principle is a key factor in keeping your momentum going and has a wide range of application. Below are three quick applications.

Problem: You are having a bad day on the tennis court. When you finish playing you are feeling down and despondent. You played so well before and now look at you. Tennis is no longer fun. You may even be thinking about quitting! If you do not quit, then you think it's time for a tennis make-over. EVERYTHING must be wrong with your game.

Solution: Stay out of your own way! Forget all of that negative stuff. Put your emotions and your ego aside and keep moving! All that you have experienced is a normal part of learning and being a competitor in the sports arena. Don't change anything, wait it out, relax and think positively like a true Tennis Warrior and your game will come back.

Problem: In a match you play a good but long point, only to lose the point. You think, "Wow! What a tough point to lose. I guess I'd better change something, this player is just too good!"

Solution: Stay out of your own way! You're over-thinking. You are more hung up on the fact that you lost the point than the fact that you made your opponent work for the win. You played it right... now do it again and again and again! Typically when players lose a long, long point they will lose the next point quickly! Why? Because they think their last mistake is more important than the next shot!!! DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN. Stay positive and keep concentrating!

Problem: You took a week or two of vacation and when you come back your play is horrible. You feel out of place on the court. You complain, "After all the work I put in on my game and now in one week, it's all gone! I'll never take another vacation...it's just not fair."

Solution: Stay out of your own way! Stop all of this confusing, negative, emotional thinking. You are just having a little timing and rhythm problem from the layoff. Relax and keep swinging and in a day or two all will be well. Again - not a big deal. Stop making it one!

All of these examples have simple solutions, but when you and your emotions get in the way of relaxed, focused play, these simple solutions become mind-boggling! It's up to YOU to apply simple solutions and keep your momentum going. Stay positive, stay focused, and stay out of your own way!

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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.

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