The next time you 0r your child come off the court drained after a match(junior or USTA adult league,marine league,etc.) don’t be surprised.Tennis is a great sport,but it is physically and especially psychologically demanding.Here are 10 reasons why tennis is so tough.(Adapted from USTA sports psychology guidebook for coaches.)

1)Tennis Is an Individual Sport In tennis,(singles) you are alone on the court.No one shares in the glory or the blame. There is no teammate to pass off to if you are playing poorly, and you cannot be taken out of the game for awhile to recuperate from poor play.

2)No Coaching is Allowed

Tennis is one of the only sports where players are not allowed to receive any coaching. Except for high school tennis,Zonal teams, or Davis Cup,tournaments do not allow coaching. This restriction forces players to deal with the pressures and problems of play on their own.

3)There Are No Substitutes / No Time-outs

Many sports allow players to regain their composure or get back on track with substitutions and time-outs. This is not the case in tennis. Players must stay in the game, regardless of how bad or uncomfortable it may be. This is particularly difficult when matches last two to three hours in length.

4)One- On- One Combat

Tennis is similar to boxing. You have a real one-on-one opponent that you must defeat to emerge victorious. A match can quickly become a personal confrontation between opponents, especially if one resorts to gamesmanship tactics.(that would never happen.hahaha)

5)The Accuracy of Line Calling

Completely objective, professionally trained linespeople make mistakes constantly. They are stationary and looking at only one line. Expecting players in a match to call lines with the same accuracy is at best unrealistic. Studies show that players are actually legally blind at the moment they land on the court when running.(some while standing) This is added to the fact that matches can be dramatically changed with only one bad call.(Imagine what would happen if the batters in baseball were responsible for calling balls and strikes against themselves.)

6)Constantly Changing Conditions

Changing temperature, wind, intensity of light, court surfaces, balls, and equipment add to the depth of the competitive challenge in tennis. Players are forced to deal with such changes, many times within the same match. Players responses to these situations can provide an indication of their level of mental toughness. Those who are not affected by changes in conditions are often the ones who win.

7)Length of the Match

Few sports require players to concentrate and perform for as much as three hours at a time. It is common for players to be required to compete in two singles or doubles matches in a single day. Mental toughness and physical fitness become critical if a player is to become successful.


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