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

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Mental Strategies - Part 18

Four Tips to Mental Victory in Duece Games!

In an average tournament, you might have around 20 games that are 9-9 or 10-10.  Your success or failure during the tournament largely rests on winning those games.  I have a few tips that will help you better win those important sets.
#1 Enjoy them!  You probably enjoy the rush from other things in life like roller coasters, scary movies, caffine, and other things.  If you feel a bit excited in a close game and your heart is pounding a bit harder, learn to enjoy it!  Enjoying those close games with a smile will help you to relax and play your best!
#2 Win!  This might seem like a mute point.  However, many players are so wishing for the other player to lose that they aren’t willing to swing for their normal shots.  By hoping that the other player will “choke” that it hinders their performance.  Instead of hoping that your opponent will miss, do your best to hit great shots for the victory!
#3 Keep the perspective!  Try to keep the perspective that every point counts the same.  If the score is 0-0 or 8-2 or 9-9, ultimately every point is the same.  Without a tactical reason, you should not play overly safe or wildly aggressive with a closer.  Play tactically smart and stay within the limits of your most consistent style.
#4 Reflect.  Step away from the table and reflect upon the previous points.  Are there any particular locations on the table, any particular shots, any particular serves, or any particular variations that gave your opponent trouble?  If so, now is the time to use them!