How to Keep Your Lead in a Match
Do you ever find yourself cruising along in a match and the second set or third set you’re in command and controlling your opponent and then all of the sudden, BOOM! Something happens and you lose the match?
In this week’s tennis psychology podcast, mental game of tennis expert, Dr. Patrick Cohn answers a question from Sebastian who said he was recently playing a 3rd set, was in command and eventually lost the match.
Here’s what Sebastian had to say about his game:
“Yesterday I was up 4-0 in the 3rd set and was controlling my opponent and then something just happened… I lost my focus and lost the match and the 3rd set for 6.”
COHN: You are not alone, Sebastian. I see a lot of junior players that tend to tighten up when they get in the lead. They maybe split sets and now they are playing a 3rd set, they might be well in command, up maybe 5-2, 4-1 or 4-0 like you and then all of the sudden BOOM! something happens.
COHN: Well, what happened? Certainly, you lost your focus but most of the time this issue is around comfort zones.
COHN: Comfort zones prevent you from stepping outside and continuing to play your game when you’re in the lead and when you are in command of the match.
COHN: Typically what will happen is you go into protect mode. You start to play safe, you worry about missing and you wait for your opponent to miss.
COHN: Essentially, you stopped playing the game that got you to 4-0 in the 3rd set…
COHN: What is the problem?
Listen to the audio below to hear what else Dr. Cohn has to say about comfort zones in matches:
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