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April 1, 2002
Doing what?  When?

RAMBLINGS!
 
Welcome to all the new subscribers to my email tennis lessons.  You will receive one long lesson on the first of every month and some quick tips in between.
 
Send your tennis buddies or whole team to www.tenniswarrior.com to sign up for their free email tennis lessons.
 
All past email lessons are posted at my website from 1 January 1998 to 1 October 2001. www.tenniswarrior.com 
 
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NEW E-BOOK!
 
"The Truth about Winning!" is now available in an e-book format
 
To see a FREE sample of the first chapter click here.

The user name and password to unlock your sample copy of the first chapter is:
 
USER NAME - mental
PASSWORD - toughness
 
This e-book is an exact replica of my hard copy book which is now available at Amazon.com for $14.95 + shipping. The e-book is only $10.00 with NO shipping cost. This is not an automatic download. Your e-book will be emailed to you within 24 hours of your order.
 
Below is a brief description of what you will learn in "The Truth about Winning!
 
In "The Truth about Winning!" tennis players will learn in a step-by-step fashion the thinking the pros have mastered to win! Step-by-step from basic mental toughness to advanced mental toughness. Each chapter builds upon the one before to reveal a winning mental strategy. All skill levels can learn from this unique book from beginner to professional. No need to change your strokes just your thinking. You will notice instant on court results!
 
NO OTHER BOOK LIKE IT ON THE MARKET!
 
To see a FREE sample of the first chapter click here.

USER NAME - mental
PASSWORD - toughness
 
To order the FULL e-book version for only $10.00 click here **************************************************
 
FOOD FOR THOUGHT and MENTAL MEANDERINGS
 
1.  In a Nick Bollettieri Q & A section of the Sun Tennis Magazine one of the Q & A's sheds some light on the true cause of learning this great game of tennis.  What do you think is the key?  Read on.   
 
Q - How can I hit like Monica Seles?
 
A - Let me tell you how Seles learned to hit like Seles.   At the Academy she went out and hit ball, after ball, after ball.  She would hit 500 to 1,000 balls all working on just one shot until she had it perfected.  Not just good, but perfected.  To hit like her, I would suggest you do the same.
 
Hmmm, and you thought all you had to do was force yourself to keep your knees bent, wrist firm, stay balanced, and keep your eye on the ball and the strokes were yours!  This is my comment not Nick's. 
 
2.  Repetition is the chariot of genius!
 
3. There are many ‘perfect' tennis players with ‘perfect' technical strokes out there, but I can tell you one thing, they are not in the top ten professionals of the world because the top ten are swinging, jumping, diving, and flailing at the ball with controlled abandonment!
 
4. Remember the basic principles for learning tennis with my system is to develop a ‘feel' for different strokes along with developing mental skills through REPETITION.  Repetition of simple procedures create that ‘feel' NOT an over emphasis on the technical skills and mechanics.  Click here for an article that I wrote on 'feel' vs 'mechanics' in April 2001

Tom's Online Tennis Lesson
Doing what?  When?

Welcome to Tom's Online Tennis Lesson, sponsored by TennisWarrior.com, "Where you can learn to think like a pro!"
 
This month's lesson will be in the form of a question and answer.  My friend Bret Essing who is a 4.0 player and takes private lessons from me had a few questions that he asked via email.  After Bret read my response he said, "you just wrote your next newsletter."  I thought he was right so after getting his permission I published it as my next email lesson.   Enjoy and thank Bret for this one!
 
 
Tom,
 
I have a few questions I'm still not sure of.
 
How do you know which shot to hit. You've seen me play - sometimes my shot selection is based more on the shots that I ‘know' that I can make. For example, when I play my friend and he hits a short ball, I hit a dropshot because I ‘know' that I can make that. If I try and hit a drive with it, I put holes in the back wall. I know that it's not an ‘impossible' shot - I've seen it done, but when I run up to the shot, and drive it, it sails long. Since my friend is slow, I ‘know' that I can win the point with a dropshot (however a ‘good' player would get to the dropshot, drive it, and hurt me by driving the ball through me).
 
So... back to the question, how do I know that a drive is better than a dropshot, or a passing shot is better than a lob, or a down the line shot is better than a crosscourt... you get the idea.
 
Also, you mention getting mentally tough rather than emotional. You gave a lot of reasons why, but I didn't understand how you avoid the emotion. How can you get into a state that you ‘know' that you are going to make the next shot?
 
Thanks for the help!
 
You're email tennis student,
 
Bret
 
 
Following is the response
 
 
Bret,
 
Excellent questions that are loaded with different scenarios. First you have to make a decision as to what you want in a given match, to win or learn to play on a higher level and improve your strokes and mental attitude. If it's to win, you do what you do best even if it's wrong. Your thinking is subordinate to the principles and shots you do best, even if they are wrong. This is an accepted strategy because you are choosing to do this in an important match where winning is a high priority.
 
In another scenario you may wish to learn and practice (like with your friend) and begin selecting the shots and mental attitude that you know are correct, even if you miss. Your thinking is subordinate to the principles and shots that are correct even if they are not your best shots. For instance, any short ball is hit for a deep approach shot with medium speed. This does not mean you hit it hard and over play, but you mentally let go and attempt to hit a control approach shot.
 
In another situation your opponent may be at the net. There is no one right shot, but you pick a shot and go for it. Down the line, crosscourt, right at him or lob. As you practice you become more skilled at mixing it up and keeping your opponent off balance. And you begin to recognize which shot is more effective against a given opponent and use it more.
 
How can you ever learn and know what is the best shot if you never practice any of the correct shots with any consistency?
 
You may lose, but that is what mental toughness is all about. During practice you are choosing the best shot to develop your game (Mental Toughness Sphere), not what makes you feel good because you won (Emotion). These choices develop your mental attitude, your game, and eventually give you the courage to go for your shots. As a result you begin making a higher percentage of your shots and your confidence soars. Belief in yourself as well as your ability to make these shots sky rockets!
 
So, in answer to your first question. You know what shot to hit, by first practicing the correct mental attitude on the shots you know are correct...like a deep approach shot. This is not rocket science, it's more about the mental attitude to go for the shots you think are correct and the rest develops by itself.
 
Residing in the Mental Toughness Sphere is the ability to use the information and principles in the sphere, like my example above: the choice between attempting to win or improving your game.  It has nothing to do with winning immediately, but with the utilization of mental principles to eventually improve and win more in the long run.
 
In answer to your second question. You do not avoid the emotions. They are with you always, but through the Mental Toughness Sphere you learn to overrule them with your thinking. Like "the next shot is more important than the last mistake" or the example above is a perfect case. In practice your emotions may only want to win instead of practicing to improve your game. But the thinking overrules and you practice the correct shots anyway. Eventually this becomes a habit and your thinking changes.
 
And to your third question, how to know you can make the next shot.  You do not know that you can make the next shot, but you think you can, and you are not afraid to miss. How do you develop this mental attitude?  The next paragraph as stated earlier in the lesson has the answer.  It all works together.
 
You may lose, but that is what mental toughness is all about. During practice you are choosing the best shot to develop your game (Mental Toughness Sphere), not what makes you feel good because you won (Emotion). These choices develop your mental attitude, your game, and eventually give you the courage to go for your shots. As a result you begin making a higher percentage of your shots and your confidence soars. Belief in yourself as well as your ability to make these shots sky rockets!
 
Your email coach,
 
Tom Veneziano
 

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APPENDUM:  I teach a total system of thinking in regard to stroke production and mental attitude which I cannot explain in one email.  Although each lesson can stand alone you will derive tremendous physical and mental benefit by understanding the total philosophy.  These emails, my web site, books, and tapes are part of a course in tennis, not just isolated tennis tips.  They all fit together into a system.  A system that once understood can help you not only learn tennis at a faster rate, and develop mental toughness, but also give you the knowledge necessary to help guide yourself and your children to a better understanding of the developmental process.

Click here for more information about my books and tapes

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READER FEEDBACK

"Tom,
 
I've played five and a half hours of tennis since I read your archives.
 
I truly enjoyed working with your ideas - especially not looking for techniques to follow when I missed a shot. (and not telling myself to watch the ball) - Just trusting what I could do on the tennis court - and being very surprised by a whole lot of shots the went very well.
 
I highly recommend your approach to tennis. To me it's sort of a 95 percent repetition and 5 percent instruction approach. - I remember Tim Gallwey saying that in his lessons there was less teaching and more learning.
 
Tom, Thank you again for everything!"
 
Dick Brandt, Brooklyn Park, MN
 
Copyright © 2002 Tom Veneziano. All rights reserved

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