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

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Mental Strategies - Part 14

Read 2 FAQs

There are 2 frequently asked questions that I would like to answer in this blog posting…
Question #1
Bob, “Samson, why do I often play much better in tournaments against players would are rated 200 points higher that I am.  It seems like I play better against better players.”
Question #2
Betty, “Samson, why do I often play very poorly against better players.  I just can’t seem to get into my normal routine.”
Hi Bob!
Against a better player, you probably feel more relaxed and are able to swing freely.  You aren’t worried about losing rating points and you aren’t worried about what other people might think because you feel that you are “allowed” to lose.  Try to have this same mindset against all opponents.  Have fun.  Relax.  Play the style that you want.  Don’t think about the benefits of winning or the consequences of losing.
Hi Betty!
Higher-rated opponents will often find a strategy that takes you away from your normal game.  Maybe this higher player can serve shorter or serve spinnier or be more consistent in the rallies or hit harder.  This player must be smart if he can take you away from your normal game and make you feel uncomfortable.  Make sure that you also adjust your strategy and realize the your technique and game plan might need to be slightly altered.