Playing Injured Can Help!

rafa2If you watched the Aussie Open Men’s Finals, you saw Stan W. really “in the zone” in the first two sets; and then Rafa Nadal was obviously suffering from back pain and could hardly serve. So what happened? Rafa won the third set!

You ever play a tournament or league doubles match and feel a strain in your leg as you run back to chase a lob? It doesn’t feel bad enough to default; so you keep playing. Will it help or hurt your game?

This happened to me during the tournament run-up; and my partner and I ended up winning the match! Why? ….

Playing Smarter

You end up being more “thoughtful” about your shot selection, making your opponent(s) do the running instead of you. And, making shots to end the point, rather than needlessly prolonging it.

Impact on Your Partner and Opponent(s)

If you confide your injury to your partner, he will frequently try harder … covering more shots and putting away more shots to also try to keep the points shorter.

And if your opponent(s) notice (like Stan surely did), they frequently will change their game to try to “take advantage” of your injury… and go for shots they possibly should not be making (e.g. going at or over you, rather than playing to the open court); or “feel sorry” for you and take their mind off the task.

So, maybe you should fake an injury? Oh, some players already do!

Sterling Oaks CAT II

The fourth Florida Super Senior Grand Prix is this week at Sterling Oaks in Naples. With large draws from around the country, the 65 and 70 singles started on Sunday.

Tom McCune had a great match with #9 seeded, topspinning lefty Bill Plummer (Sarasota). They split the first two sets; and in the full third set, Tom found himself down 3-1. He fought his way back to a tie-breaker, which he ended up losing 8-6.

I played Jim Johanson, a solid player from Florida’s east coast, who was seeded in the previous four tournaments. He had a real strong forehand, but unreliable backhand. I had played him in past years; and won in close matches.

This time, I attacked his backhand and frequently came to the net. After my solid 6-2, 6-2 victory, he said, “Boy, your volley has really improved!

And I told him it was ten years of coaching from Roy Emerson that did it!

For the link to the tournament website, other results, and today’s matches, please click HERE

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3 thoughts on “Playing Injured Can Help!

  1. That was very nice of you. Yes, your volley has definitely improved a lot. Well done. All the best, Roy

  2. Although Emmo has tried to improve my volleys also, I still have a lot of work to do! However, there is nothing wrong with my lobs – right Emmo!

    Larry “the lobber” Starr

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