Quick Tips

Here are a few questions you may want to go over with your partner and coach.

1) Do you like to play the add side or the deuce side?

2) What would you like me to say or do after you miss an easy shot?

3) What would you like me to say or do after you make a double fault?

4) Do you want to use signals or not?

5) Who do you think should serve first when we play?

6) Do you like  a partner that is expressive and intense or quiet and reserved?

7) Which one of us should be reponsible for questioning bad calls?

8) What should our plan “A” be when we play?

9) What should our plan “B” be when we play?

10) What should our plan “C” be when we play?

11) How much time after a loss would you like to wait before we discuss the match?

12) What can I do on the court  to keep your confidence high?

13) Who should serve into the sun if it is in a bad spot?

14) What kind of warm-up do you prefer?

15) Do you like to hear advice or coaching from me while we are playing?

16) Do you want me to walk to the baseline between points with you when you are serving?

17) What is the best thing for me to say to you when you are getting mad or frustrated?

18) Should we always elect to receive (or serve) when we win the toss?

19) Are there certain people that will make you play better (or worse) if they are watching?

20) Are we still partners? hahaha

Adapted from Mental Toughness-Workbook for Tennis by Jorge Capestany

Playing in various conditions is one of the many things that makes  tennis so challenging. The wind, sun and heat can be particularly troublesome if you do not have a plan to deal with these conditions. Keep in mind these ideas so that you can lessen their influence on your match:

WIND

The wind is not an equalizer. It favors the player with the most tactics available to use.(slice,spin,chips,etc.) This is usually the stronger and mentally tougher player.

You need to accept the fact that you will make more errors in the wind.(so will your opponent)

You should take many more steps for last second adjustments to the ball.

Put more pace and topspin on your groundstrokes so that the wind does not affect them as much as a slower ball.

Figure out which way the wind is blowing and lob into it so that the wind keeps your lob in the court. Let your opponents worry about hitting overheads in the wind.

If you have a great serve or overhead think “not today”. In the wind put the emphasis on control and consistency. On your serve use a lower toss and more spin, on your overhead let more of them bounce.

SUN

Put more first serves into play so that you only have to look up into the sun once.

Stay back more when the sun is in your face. That way you will not be forced to hit overheads while looking into the sun.

Adjust your service stance, toss, or positioning along the baseline to keep the toss out of the line of the sun.

Lob more frequently than normal, so your opponent has to hit overheads looking into the sun. Use drop shots and lobs as a game plan.

Be mentally tough. Don’t let your opponent know the sun is bothering you.

Stay out of the sun as much as possible before and after your matches.

HEAT

Make sure you are properly hydrated before the match begins. Then, drink at least 4-8 ounces on every changeover. Waiting until you feel thirsty, is too late.

Use the full 25 seconds between points to recover and towel off.

Play with aggressive tactics that will ensure shorter points. Realize that your opponent is also very hot and exhausted.

Always use the full 90 second changeover to sit down and recover. You should never walk directly to the other side and start play without a rest.

If you feel you are the more fit player, be prepared to play long points.

Wear a wet and cool bandana around your neck to help you stay cool.

Do you  ever feel like you don’t have enough time  to place the ball well when your at the net? You feel rushed and pressured when you should be rushing and pressuring your opponent? Slow down.Well of course,that’s a no-brainer.How? Get a friend,practice partner,or hitter with them at the baseline and you at the net.When they hit the ball start counting to 5,with 5 being your contact.If they hit a little faster you can count a little faster,but you will see that you have more time than you thought.That will make you slow down.You may realize you were trying to hit the ball at 2 or 3,no wonder you felt  rushed.Next use this in a workout or practice match,before putting it into a match.After that you’ll only be counting your winners at the net.

When your opponent whacks a hard shot to you(serve,groundstroke,overhead) how do you react? Most players react with their arms or hands, taking them way back in a panic and then flailing them forward in a bigger panic.The result? Possibly a shot into orbit or at least into the next court,a 120 mph putt into the net,or at the very least an uncontrolled  shank.A better option? React with a slight shoulder turn and keep your racket in the hitting zone(where you anticipate the ball is going to bounce up to if you were going to catch it in your hand,or like a baseball batter keeping his bat over homeplate)The ball will rebound off your racket  back over the net (hopefully) and  then finish smoothly to your shoulder.You may just surprise your opponent enough to make  them miss the next shot.