Coach Samson Dubina US National Team Coach 4x USATT Coach of the Year

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Tournament Tough

Becoming a Mental Giant

Because many of you will be playing in the Newgy Cincinnati Open this weekend, I thought that I would summarize some of the mental strategies that I’ve been writing about over the last 8 months.  Here are some things that you must remember…
1. Watch your opponent in a prior match and study his style, his serve, and his serve return.  Before beginning a match, also make sure to check his racket.
2. Be ready to work hard for your win.  Earned – never given.  Don’t expect your opponent to miss your trick-serve at 10-9.  Be ready to work hard to earn each and every point!
3. Before beginning a match, don’t look at your opponent’s rating – it probably isn’t accurate anyway.  Focus your attention on your strategy, not his rating.
4. Focus on having fun and applying your strategy.  If you think too much about the benefits of winning or the consequences of losing, you will have unnecessary pressure.
5. Reflect between points and ask yourself questions.  One mistake won’t hurt you, but if you continue to make the same mistake again and again, you will lose.  
6. If you lose a match, admit that you lost.  Making excuses will not help you to think clearly for your next match.
7. Be absolutely sure to go through your pre-point and post-point routine, every time. 
8. Enjoy close games.  Be excited when the game is close and be excited that you have the chance to perform.