If you are playing intermediate tennis, chances
are you are going to be playing against some fairly decent competition. So, mentally you’ll
want to get yourself warmed up as well as you’d want to get your body warmed up for
a match. Mentally you would want to go through a few things in your mind. What I tend to
do is, I will think about how I am going to approach the match, as opposed to only thinking
about my opponent. Will I stick to my game plan, no matter what? For example, will I
come to the net a lot, once I have noticed, when warming up, that my opponent is hitting
the ball short? Then, if I come to the net and I see that he is starting to pass me and
hitting a lot of lobs over my head, do I want to continue my original plan? Do I want to
break away from that style of play, maybe come back and play the ball more off the baseline?
So, you’ll want to mentally think through your match. Try to come up with a game plan
that you think is going to get you to the point of winning the match. Like I said, a
lot of times, I won’t necessarily watch my opponent, as much as, I will think through
how I am going to approach the match. If something happens that puts me into a tailspin in whatever
area I am in, for example, if I am hitting a lot of net shots that aren’t working, do
I change or do I stick to my original plan? You want to focus on that. Also, you will
want to think about positive reinforcement on your shots. Picture yourself making good
shots and good serves. Picture yourself hitting good overhead shots. That will mentally get
you primed for the match ahead.

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Dennis Veasley

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