Staying Aggressive to Grind Out a Match
Not having your “A” game may seem like a guaranteed loss.
Think of a time when you didn’t have your “A” game or were off your game…
At some point in the first set, you just knew you were off…
You found it difficult to place your serve…
You felt slow reacting to volleys…
You had no answer with your returns…
With every unforced error or misplaced return, you questioned whether or not you would lose in straight sets…
You were embarrassed and frustrated and just wanted to get off the court as quickly as possible…
Does this sound familiar? It’s impossible to pull out a win when you feel it is impossible to win.
When you believe you have no chance for success, several negative consequences occur:
- Your self-talk becomes predominantly negative. You berate yourself internally or talk yourself out finding ways to win.
- Your body language becomes counter-productive. Negative body language, such as slumped shoulders, playing flatfooted, dropping your head and throwing your hands in the air restricts oxygen flow, tightens muscles, reduces your energy stores, creates anxiety and signals a sense of resignation to your brain.
- Your level of effort is reduced. Anxiety burns off energy. And why would you even try if you believe you cannot win?
- Your emotions become intense, unproductive and negative. You are overcome with frustration, anger and hopelessness.
- Your focus is difficult to maintain. All you can think about is losing the match. Instead of attacking each point, you play back on your heels and conservatively.
- Your confidence plummets. When your confidence is lost, so is the match.
What if you still had a chance to win without your “A” game, whether it be 25% or even 5%?
Even though the odds may not be fully in your favor, you still have a fighting chance.
What if your opponent loses their top game in the middle of the match? You would still have a fighting chance.
What if your game picked up in the next set? You would still have a fighting chance.
But you only have a fighting chance if you keep fighting, if you stay aggressive and if you keep grinding until the end.
Top-seeded Elina Svitolina retained her Dubai Championships title by beating Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 6-0 even though she did not have her “A” game.
SVITOLINA: “I am very pleased with the performance throughout the week. When I had to play well, I played well. I did good at important moments. I was serving good, returning well, getting lots of balls back… Maybe not amazing tennis, but I was pretty solid. It was enough.”
If you want a fighting chance, you need to be a fighter. Since you never know what might happen, why not keep grinding?
Winning Ugly Without your “A” Game:
In order to keep grinding, you need to focus on sending your brain productive messages. This may be difficult at times but it is a doable task.
To remind yourself to keep pushing onward, use positive verbal cues, “Fight,” “Push on,” or, “Keep Grinding.”
Know that your opponent might get tired, play tight, or fold at the end of the match…
Learn Proven Tennis Mental Game Strategies To Perform Your Best On The Court!
Are you (or your players) performing up to your ability in competition?
Do you bring your best and most confident game to matches?
I often hear players complain about the following problems when they play in matches…
- “I get so tight or tense before matches that I can’t think straight or have any rhythm in my game.”
- “I get so frustrated with hitting bad shots or with errors and it snowballs.”
- “I expect so much when I play that I unravel and lose confidence when the match does not go as planned.”
- “My confidence seems to disappear when I go from practice to matches and I don’t know why.”
Successful tennis players have learned how to perform with ultimate confidence in tournaments.
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What are mental game customers saying?
“She did really well with controlling her emotions during the matches today. We were very proud of her for not showing her frustrations during the match; I think that was a big accomplishment. She really looked in control of her emotions even when she double faulted or made mistakes. The changes we saw in her behavior in less than 24 hours were AWESOME! Thank you for your guidance!”
~Jennifer, Tennis Parent
“Maggie had such a great weekend. As always, after she works with you she just seems more grounded and focused. She’s less likely to look around and get distracted during her match. She’s more focused on one point at a time. Also, as a parent, I’ve learned to encourage her process goals and not outcomes. Consequently, she played well and won her first doubles match, upsetting a seeded team in a really really close match!”
~Katherine Johnson Cannata, Maggie’s mother
“I want to let you know that your “Tennis Confidence” CD program has been extremely helpful to me. I listen to the CDs in the car and the program is helping me overcome a lifetime of tournament performance Anxiety. Thank you!”
~Wing Yu, Tennis Player
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Boost Your Self-Confidence in Tennis With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach, Dr. Patrick Cohn, can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal mental game coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone.
Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 (local: 407-909-1700) or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our mental coaching students saying?
“Dr. Cohn did a great job working with my son Joe on his mental skills for tennis. He taught him the mental skills and discipline necessary to move to the next level. Thanks Doc!”
~Mike Withers, Joe Withers Father
“Since you last worked with AJ in early September, his National ranking has improved from 349 to 148. His tournament record at one point, since talking with you was 17-4, with 3 of the 4 being in third sets or tiebreakers and 2 of those matches being the same player, whom he has since beaten (you may recall he was on an 0-9 losing streak when we contacted you). His tie-breaker record is at least 90% through last weekend when he won the 18s District tournament with a semi and final match tiebreak win. Your help has definitely improved AJ’s results and his on-court demeanor has substantially improved.”
~Dawn Woodman, A.J.’s Mother
“Dr. Cohn, one of my goals is to become a world-class-coach. There are a few coaches from the US who inspired me the most–John Wooden, Don Shula, and Pat Riley. After working with you, I now also list your name among the most influential coaches in my field!”