Evaluate and Improve Your Game
This may be the most fundamental of tennis tips, but have you ever analyzed your tennis game? I don't mean asking yourself if you've got a good forehand or backhand. I mean, have you really analyzed your whole tennis game?
You haven't? Good! Then let's start . . .
The first step is to know how to go about it. Ask yourself, what is your tennis game? What does it consist of?
For starters, tennis is much more than a game of serves, volleys and groundstrokes. When you walk onto the court, you take more than your tennis racquet with you. You take your whole bag -- your temperament, your personality, your character and your brain.
To make my point, let's leave your game aside for a moment. Instead, let's analyze the games of two all-time greats, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer.
The first thing we need to do is break the game up into its four main areas, which are . . .
Now, let's see how Pete and Roger measure up in each area...
This part of the game deals with such things as:
- Staying cool under pressure
- Overcoming the fear of playing a superior opponent
- Overcoming the fear of losing to an inferior opponent
- Dealing with an attack of nerves
- Playing in front of a crowd
- Handling unwanted distractions
Well, no flaws or weaknesses for Pete or Roger in this area. I give them each 10 out of 10.
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- Knowing which shots to play - and when
- Reading your opponents game
- Exploiting opponents' weaknesses
- Covering up your own weaknesses
- Where you stand to serve and return
- Where you position yourself in the court between shots
When you get champions like Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, it's impossible to achieve such consistent results without a superb strategic ability. Unquestionably, 10 out of 10 for both.
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- Hand/Eye Co-ordination
Pete and Roger are both superbly gifted athletes. The only question mark is stamina. For example, how would they compare with Borg? It's possible that they would struggle with a series of long five set clay court battles at Roland Garros; however, on any other surface, their games are so economical and efficient that stamina, or lack of it, wouldn't really be a major factor.
10 out of 10 again for the two of them.
- The mechanics of each stroke
- Ready positions for returns, serves, at the net, between shots etc.
- Split steps
As far as technique goes, you wouldn't find two more perfect players. Both possess stylish, all-round, aggressive games. Neither has a technical weakness in sight. Once again, a perfect score for both.
Now, how about you? Using the above as a guide, how do you measure up against Sampras and Federer?
By breaking the game up into its four fundamental components, it's simple to accurately evaluate your own game. The trick, though -- and here's one more of my tennis tips -- is to be able to address your weak areas by taking practical steps to improve them. And how you go about that is what makes tennis so much fun and so challenging.
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