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.
STROKES ARE BASED ON 'FEEL' NOT MECHANICS!
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
"As time goes by"
Welcome to Tom's Online Tennis Lesson, sponsored by TennisWarrior.com, "Where you can learn to think like a pro!"
That old song from the movie "Casablanca" of years ago still has impact today, if not on romance, then on your tennis game! You are on your way to play a match. You know that you will be on the court for an hour or two until either you or your opponent emerges victorious. During that time you will mentally and emotionally fluctuate in all different directions. As a player you should be aware that you can only dedicate a certain amount of time to a given match, and what you do with that time is crucial!
Although everyone has the same allotment of time on the court, what each individual does with it is what counts. You should think of that time as your own and YOU should be the one to decide how to use it. Spending time is like spending money. You should receive something of value. Do you fritter away your time in self-doubt, tentativeness, frustration and anger? Do you dwell on your mistakes and cling to negative thoughts? Or do you remain confident and happy throughout the match, maintaining your assertiveness and positive thoughts?
Napoleon knew that managing time was essential for victory in battle when he proclaimed, "Ground lost I can recover, time lost, never!" Your tennis victories also depend on how you use time. YOU must take responsibility to make the highest and best use of your time. The Tennis Warrior makes decisions to wrap his thoughts around a positive mental attitude.
Marcos Baghdatis, after coming back from being down two sets to David Nalbandian in the semifinal of the 2006 Australian Open, said as reported by Jason Phelan, "I just went in the court and I just said, 'I'm happy even if I lose.' I mean, I did everything I can, I came through, through two sets down, and I just said, 'Just go play your game and whatever happens, happens.'
Marcos won that match in five sets, but lost to Roger Federer in the finals. Those of you who watched Marcos play in the Australian Open watched a player who logs tons of time mentally on the positive, happy side. He has learned to utilize time in his favor.
So, what are you really thinking during a match as your time goes by? Is this a fair analysis of your thoughts: You spend twenty percent of your time in self-doubt, thirty percent in frustration, ten percent being angry, twenty percent being confident and twenty percent relaxed and happy? Are you a hodgepodge player with many emotions and feelings gobbling up your time, immersed in a quagmire of negative thoughts? Wouldn't it be great if your match reflected a seventy-five percent confident, relaxed and happy mental attitude with only an occasional slip into self-doubt and frustration?
Let me see if I can emblazon this on your memory. You are playing an opponent (Walter or Sally) with skills equal to yours. The only difference is that your opponent is a paragon of positive thinking with only a hint of the negative. You, on the other hand, are entrenched in negative thinking with only a speck of confidence.
Who wins? I'd put my money on Walter and Sally! How about you?
That's right - you have lost matches because YOU have NOT made decisions to correctly utilize the time you are allowed.
But be of good cheer! You have now seen a blinding flash of the obvious. We shall call this epiphany "mental attitude time management." The best part of this concept is that YOU control all the controls that manage your mental attitude. You have the free will, and hopefully the motivation, to change a few of your decisions and win more! Remember, there may be three other players on the court with you, but every player has their own time to manage. After my years of coaching I can bet that most players will NOT manage their time correctly. This is your challenge: To be or not be a winner depends on what you think, and you alone can control what you think. The choice is yours.
Your tennis pro,
"I have been listening to your tapes and reading, "The Truth About Winning." Well, actually I have listened to the first tape four times trying to digest it.
I am sure you already know this and have probably heard it a million times, but for the longest time I kept saying to myself, I am taking drill class after drill class, lesson after lesson and still feel like I am backpedaling with my game. Now I am not saying that the lessons didn't help but I still felt something was missing. That is, until someone told me about your book and I discovered it.
I am feeling completely different about the game of tennis now and it is wonderful. I am enjoying the game and enjoying the learning process, being able to take the bad with the good and not feel like "I suck." I go into drill classes now with a different mental attitude.
My daughter is a beautiful player, until she gets into competition and then, bye-bye. We are going to play doubles this spring on a USTA team and I can't wait to impart to her what I am learning from you. I am reading her excerpts from your book every chance I get. It's funny how people cannot accept the simplicity of it all; I am happy that I am grasping it. NOW, whether I win matches or not remains to be seen; that is not my goal now. In fact, I am learning more from not winning than winning (I do occasionally win). But I do want to improve my game and so it is ever onward.
Thanks again. I am so happy I found you, as tennis is a true joy, even on the bad days."
ADDENDUM: 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 you and your children to a better understanding of the developmental process.
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