Those who know me, know I have been trying to imprint the “Fearless Tennis” mantra on my brain. It is not always easy to stay loose and really go for the shot you should … especially at a critical point in a game or match.
A recent example… Playing a doubles match against tournament player, Joe McAleer (now #1 in 65 doubles in Florida), I was serving to Joe in the ad court at 15-30 and 4 games to 4 in the set.
I had missed my first serve and was serving a second. Joe is an especially good return of server; and has a tendency to run around his backhand on a soft second serve (one of my weaknesses) and absolutely CRUSH a forehand return.
Rather than wimping in a soft second serve that might get me or my net partner hurt, I said to myself, “Fearless Tennis … go for a solid serve down the T.” I did and had a second serve ace.
After we won the game, at the cross-over, Joe said, “That took courage.”
But given the choice of regularly hitting a soft second serve that your opponents can really tee off on, it is really better to go for more of a serve – and accept the fact that you will occasionally double fault. I believe a double fault going for a good second serve is better psychologically than suffering a blistering return winner.
It is sometimes hard to accept making mistakes; but if it is the right shot, go for it.