How Did You Play?

Let’s try to help change the tennis culture. When you see someone who just played a match (tournament or friendly), don’t ask them “Did you win?” or “How’d you do?” Instead, ask them “How did you play today?”

That question goes right to the heart of focusing on the “process” (how you play) vs. focusing on “results.” In my humble tennis opinion, it is much more important (and satisfying) to practice shots and techniques and then be able to put them into play during “important” matches; then it is to play the same old game and somehow squeak out a victory.

So, how did I play today in the quarters of the second USTA Super Senior Florida Grand Prix tournament in Cape Coral? GREAT, thank you.

#2 seed Larry Albritton and I took the court just after noon today and walked off just after 3:00 p.m. Three sets, three hours.

I have played Larry several times in doubles; but never in singles; and he is having a very good season (losing in three sets to Don Long in the finals last week). My objective: play Fearless Tennis and go for my shots. With very minor exceptions, I successfully did that for three grueling hours of well-played tennis.

In the first set, Larry was striking the ball very well and rushed to a 5-1 lead. I kept telling myself the old line, “One point at a time,” and was able to start managing the steady Northeast wind and claw my way back to a tie breaker. We wacked it back and forth, with me having two set points at 6-4… and him having one at 7-6 … till I finally won it at 9-7.

Larry said afterwards that his first set “lapse” was due to not moving his feet and not watching the ball. But he corrected both of those problems and won the second set 6-1 (it was closer than the score).

In the deciding third set, he held … I held … he held… I held. And then I was able to break him to go up 3-2. But he broke me right back for 3-3.

During the next game (where he held serve), I thought “This is really GREAT! I am really having a lot of FUN out here!”

I also held; to bring it to 4-4.

Larry served a long game with three or four deuces (all his ads though), until he finally held serve. So I served at 4-5 … still felt good and was running side to side well … and was committed to continue play Fearless Tennis and go for my serves and my shots.

I did. But Larry just made some better shots and broke me for the match.

It was a great match; and I think I found someone who is even better tennis condition than I am!

So when you see me, don’t say “Too bad you didn’t win.” Because I feel great about my play and the day. Just say, “Great match.”

For the link to all the other results, just click HERE.

2 thoughts on “How Did You Play?

  1. Kudos to you on this one George! I’ve been telling my students this same thing for many years. Great match by the way.

    Jim, “Great minds…” (actually, i picked this up from Jeff Greenwald’s “Fearless Tennis”). george

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