Getting Tournament Tough

Brothers in Biceps
Brothers in Biceps
If you haven’t played a lot of tournaments (or first one in a while), getting out there and exposing yourself (and tennis weaknesses) can be daunting. One reader asks, “what can you do about it?”

I enjoy your materials. Thanks very much.
I was wondering what you can recommend as the best resource for curing tournament tightness, anxiety and choking

Here are my thoughts…

1) Play Tournaments: There is a phrase that says a player is “tournament tough”, which means that he/she plays a lot of tournaments and gets used to the pressure. It is true. So by simply doing it, makes it easier.

2) Have cancer: I was operated on for prostate cancer several years ago (the same time Roy Emerson was) and that really helped me put “the important things in life” in perspective. Winning a tennis match is not one of them. At Newk’s camp the year after, Emerson was urging me on during a team match and I said, “Emmo, this is just tennis; it’s not prostate cancer!”

3) Develop Mental Strength: I am a big believer in Jeff Greenwald’s “Fearless Tennis” concepts and practices. Get the book and/or CDs to help guide you.

Any other advice for the reader and others?

Today’s Match

My problem today was not choking, it was an opponent who played better than me. This was consol singles vs. Dr. Noble Hendrix, an orthopedic surgeon from NC. Nice guy and nice player (who shares a detached biceps tendon with me and who took the game up even later in life than I did!).

The scouting report said to avoid his solid two-handed backhand and play to his forehand, varying the pace. I think I overdid that strategy because he got grooved and hit many forehand topspin winners. While I was up a break in both sets, he took the match 6-4, 6-3 (in two hours!).

Willy Hoffmann

Good friend Willy had a great singles tournament… winning all his matches in two sets to make it to the finals; but a scheduled bladder cancer operation today made him default the finals.

As it turns out, the docs couldn’t agree on the timing of the operation (due to blood thinners) and it was CANCELLED. Willy is much disappointed.

For all Colonial results, click HERE

World Tennis

Next week’s tournament is at the World Tennis Club in Naples; and I am playing both singles and doubles (with Joe McAleer). Have a tough first round match on Tuesday vs. Larry Back, who knocked off the #1 seeded Peter Peczley this week.

For the full WTC draws, click HERE.

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3 thoughts on “Getting Tournament Tough

  1. Very nice, George. Agree on all fronts, right down to the cancer aspect.

    Joel, enjoy your time down under! Thanks, george

  2. Congrats to Willy. Although he got stiffed because of the operation, his getting to the finals validates my own personal inability to beat him. It’s not me, it’s HIM!! He is just too damn good.

    Marty, as another Willy Victim, I agree. George

  3. The subjects are highly questionable but the photographer is a pro. Thanks for the first of many good matches with you today. Thank goodness that our shared injury is mostly cosmetic and we can go about playing like the boys that we are! Others who might have it should take heart, continue playing and join our merry band of muscle men.
    Best in all you do,

    Noble, I did not write that you said those who have a detached biceps long tendon (including your wife Patty, who took our pic) can expect FULL RECOVERY without an operation! Look forward to seeing and playing vs you next week. George

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