We all play tennis for different reasons. To get better, to meet new friends or to win championships. Having a goal in tennis participation is important because it makes us motivated all the time to get on the court and run after every ball. But do you know why you do all the activities to play tennis better? Are you aware of results of these actions? Maybe you are but unfortunately most of the players are not.
To achieve your own potential in tennis you have to make a lot of commitment. You have to get up early to practice. You have to get away during weekends to compete for ranking points. You spend many hours a day on the tennis court and in the gym to get your body ready for the demands of this beautiful sport. Not to mention you should eat healthy meals, work on your mental skills and take care of your free time to let your body and mind recover. All these aspects show that improvement in tennis is a complex process where one little detail can decide if you win the next match or not.
As a coach I have had the privilege to work with players at different levels. For me it doesn’t matter if you want to play high school tennis or your dream is to win Wimbledon – you have to commit to the process. If you work with me you will get guideline on how to be a serious tennis players. Your choice is if you commit to these points or not. Many players find it easier to perform all needed activities when everything is going well – practice sessions are effective, tournaments are won etc. On the other hand when there are some obstacles to overcome this is a real test for player’s commitment. Too many times outcome-oriented approach makes players skip needed steps that are necessary to succeed. When they lose the match they don’t want to stretch. They don’t want to eat healthy. They don’t think about extra practice session. They don’t see the point.
Players love to argue. I had to deal with it many times but I know that I can change player’s approach if he/she understands the reasons. This is what I hear after lost matches:
– „You see coach. Lastly I didn’t warm up and I won the match. Today I warmed up for 30 minutes and I lost. What is the point?”
– „Coach I lost the match. It doesn’t matter if I stretch right now. Because of stretching I am not going to win more matches”
– „I am not going to eat chicken with rice. I love pizza and I play better when I am happy. Nick Kyrgios drinks Coke all the time and he is top 20. I will do the same”
and hundreds of more examples. You know what I am talking about. But let me explain to you why you should do all these actions. It is all about making your chances bigger to play better, to win the next match. It is not guaranteed but it definitely makes you closer to the dreams. It is about chances. If you stretch after practice it doesn’t mean that you won’t be injured. But it makes your chances bigger for staying healthy. If you eat proper food it doesn’t guarantee win over the number one seed but it makes your chances bigger for beating him. If you practice hard every day it doesn’t mean that you will beat other players who don’t give 100% during their practice sessions. Again, it only makes your chances bigger for doing so. It is the reason why you should do all these things. To make your chances bigger. And if you add 10 % from practice sessions, 10 % from healthy nutrition, 12 % from gym training, 20 % from mental preparation, 15 % from recovery strategies, and 8 % from serious pre-match routines, your skills are aided by 85 %!!! 85 % more chances to win the match. Don’t you want to have this advantage? Doesn’t it really matter?
You know the answer.
Make smart choices.
It is your career…
Marcin Bieniek is a professional tennis coach and founder of instructional website http://tennisisland.us. Marcin has been working with USTA, top 100 ITF and WTA/ATP players. He is a frequent contributor to TennisPro and TenisKlub magazines and he was a speaker at International Coaching Tennis Symposium 2016 at Hilton Head Island, USA.