Transferring Practice Skills to Matches
Tennis players constantly work on improving their strokes. While that’s important, many players lose sight of the importance of match play.
Players can gain experience and confidence from playing lots of matches. Match play allows you to work on your between point routines, battle back when you’re down, and strive to keep your momentum going when you’re playing well. Without match play, it becomes difficult for players to transfer their practice to matches.
Sam Stosur won her first round match at the French Open. Stosur has now reached the French Open final where she will meet Francesca Schiavone. In her first round match, Stosur beat Simona Halep 7-5, 6-1. She attributes her first round victory to playing lots of matches and building her confidence. Stosur was down 2-4 the first set, but was able to bounce back from the deficit.
“Confidence is a good thing. When you play a lot and win a lot of matches, you’re feeling good, and that being 4-2 down doesn’t make you panic. You still feel like you’re in the match and all that kind of thing. You know, like I said before, I didn’t think it was a big deal, and broke back and was 5-4 up. So then, you know, it totally swings back around,” said Stosur.
Match play is important to your mental game.
During matches, you may experience frustration after mistakes. You may tighten up during critical points. Think of playing matches not only to improve your skills and strategy, but also your mental game. You can find out what your mental game challenges are during match play. These same mental challenges might not be as noticeable in practice.
“I think my preparation going into this year’s tournament is a lot better than last year. I’ve played a lot more matches, won a lot more matches, so I’m feeling a lot more confident than what I was last year. Obviously last year, as the week went on, all that kind of was erased. It didn’t really matter what happened before the French. It was right there, which is kind of the same this year. But going into it, I feel like I’m playing better and probably more confident now than what I was this time last year,” said Stosur.
Your Tennis Psychology Tip For Today
Play practice matches and not just work to perfect your strokes! There is no substitute to match play. Playing matches can help you improve your mental toughness as well as your tennis skills. Use your matches to help build your confidence for future matches.
Are you (or your players) performing up to your ability in competition?
Do you bring your best and most confident game to matches?
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