The Mindset of Playing Your Strengths
Which strategy do you utilize in tennis matches? Do you play to your strengths or do you look to minimize your weaknesses?
Trying to minimize weakness is the strategy of playing it safe to avoid failure. Avoiding mistakes is a reactive method of playing tennis that allows your opponent to dictate the flow of the game.
If you avoid mistakes, you:
- Avoid making missing
- Avoid double faulting
- Worry about losing
- Worry about embarrassing yourself
Trying to minimize your weaknesses on the court is emotionally and physically exhausting.
When you play to your strengths, you are playing to win.
There are several benefits when you have the mindset of playing to your strengths:
- You make fewer errors.
- You play with more confidence.
- You play aggressively and go for winners.
- You play with a sharp focus on your game.
- You are able to persist through tough sets and keep attacking.
- You are more equipped to stay in control emotionally and overcome mistakes or bad calls.
Rohan Bopanna and Daniel Nestor utilized the strategy of playing to their strengths at the 2015 Dubai Tennis Championships.
Bopanna and Nestor played an aggressive, attacking style and won the doubles title 6?4, 6?1 in just 50 minutes. The win gave Bopanna and Nestor their second title of the season.
Playing to your strengths is an effective strategy to play winning tennis.
This is not to say you shouldn’t seek to develop your overall game and try to improve your weaknesses in practice. Playing to your strengths is the right option for your match focus.
Try these tips to develop your strategy of “playing to your strengths”:
- Tip #1: Think about your top tennis performances. Were you competing from strengths or managing weakness? What was your mindset prior to the match?
By identifying your past successful competitive mindset, you can use that as a template for future matches.
- Tip #2: Make a list of your strengths. How can you best utilize your strengths in future matches? To play winning tennis, outline your match strategy prior to competing.
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“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