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?
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!).
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
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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