Tip 1 Working out your own and your opponents strengths and weaknesses It is key to know your main strengths as a player so when you play a match you are then able to give yourself the best opportunity to use them e.g If your strength is your forehand you should be looking to use this shot as often as possible. As soon as you step on the court and begin warming up with your opponent you should be analysing their strengths and weaknesses. Once identified you can then use your shots to exploit their weaknesses and neutralise their strengths
Tip2 Staying in the present mentality In tennis it is easy to let your head drop when things are going badly. It is vital to remain positive at all time – focus on one point at a time and try to visualise yourself winning each point. Trying to remain positive will really help to raise your game and losing your PMA can cost you a match. If you lose a point its in the past, there is nothing you can do to effect it. If you think about the future your brain will run away with you. Focus on the here and now, stay positive and make SMART decisions.
Tip 3 Early Preparation This is something that unlike most aspects of tennis you have full control over. Be prepared both on and off the court – off the court make sure you arrive on time to the match to enable a sufficient warm up both physically and mentally. On the court make sure you are recovering to an appropriate ready position and taking your racket back as early as possible.
Tip 4 Shot Selection – Attack/Rally/Defend Be SMART with your shot selection. Don’t rush for a winner, build the point and wait for your opportunities to arise in the point. Always play the percentages, when things aren’t going your way think of the basics – am I hitting the ball high enough over the net? Am I hitting with enough length
Tip 5 Playing your opponent mentally In a match situation you need to be able to mentally ‘get inside’ your opponents mind to help influence how they play. You should then pounce on any mental frailties they exhibit – for example if they are struggling with their second serve you should then stand closer to the service line to apply further pressure. So next time you have a match and you find yourself struggling think back to these 5 points and ask yourself whether you are truthfully implementing them!