Many years ago, a long-haired, dungaree-clad Andre Agassi was criticized by his fellow pros for overtly complimenting his opponent on nice shots. Is there something wrong with doing that?
Times They Are a Changin’
Now, most all pros either give a thumbs up or “racquet clap” when their opponent hits a great shot. I always do – friendly or tournament match – I have no problem telling my opponent when they have hit a nice shot.
But there are some players who never do. Is it just their personality, or do they think they will somehow show a sign of weakness?
Compliments Build Confidence
In a friendly, doubles match recently played, my partner (Willy Hoffmann) and I WERE playing very well. I have pretty good hands at the net and Willy can run almost anything down. So we were getting just about everything back in play and winning the critical points.
One of our opponents was exuberant in his praise for our play (to the consternation of his partner), telling us “You are getting everything we hit back … and hitting all the lines!”
I do believe the more he complimented us, the more confidence we got, and the better we played (and the more dejected he and his partner got).
I also believe you should regularly compliment your partner – even on missed shots. If they made a great move to get to the ball, even if they missed the shot, I encourage them to “keep going for it.”
The Faux Compliment
Then, there are the gamesmen who will give you a compliment like, “Wow, you are really serving well today! What are you doing differently?” With the objective of getting you to over analyze your own strokes; and therefore, mess up your winning game.
How about YOU … are you a complimentor or the strong, silent type?
This week’s CAT II Tournament
The third tournament in January is taking place this week at the Sanchez/Casal Academy (Naples Bath & Tennis); and Noble Hendrix and I are again teamed up and have slugged our way through the round robin portion.
Being a seeded team (#4) and playing in a group of only three teams, we had just two round robin matches… In the first, we played solidly vs. local team/friends of Phil Ludwig and Ron Mutchnik (6-2, 6-3); but had a real challenge vs. the New York team of Bob Gargiula and Alan Schreiber.
The New Yorkers served for the first set at 5-4 and didn’t convert … then they again served for the first set at 6-5 and didn’t convert … then we won the set tiebreaker. In the second set, we served for the match at 5-4 and didn’t convert … then we again served for the match at 6-5 and DID convert!
The 75s quarter finals start today along with many other matches on this unusually cold Florida day. For all the matches/times, click HERE.
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