Teach Discipline on the Tennis Court

Making of a champion: Of course it is a lot more complicated than I can explain in this short peace, but maybe soon if I get a book out, I can explain everything in more detail. Let’s get to the basics here. Make sure, and I say make sure that you do not listen to all these coaches who want your tennis kid to hit a lot of topspin, and I mean a lot.

robert lansdorp maria sarapova 300x217 Teach Discipline on the Tennis Court

Don’t send your kid to a tennis academy, unless you want more match play and even in most Academies it is a waste of time and money, lots of money. Lot of Academies will charge you about $100,000 a year. If you hope to get your kid a scholarship by sending him or her to an Academy, save your money and pay for the education. Besides that, if your kid is talented and just wants to go to college a very good local pro can do it, and you have $300,000 to $400,000 left in the bank. BUT more important, make sure that if you want your kid to become a great pro, HAVE THEM HIT THE BALL HARD FROM DAY ONE. And I am not talking about FLAT all the time. Most balls should have some topspin on the ball, but hit hard with some spin. The two handed backhands are usually flatter. Girls should definitely hit the ball flatter than boys, because of the strength.

Make the kids hit the ball HARDER and LOWER over the net. If your kid is talented and has GREAT timing, they are able to do it. If they can’t they probably never will. But I am interested in making Champions and not College tennis players. I developed at least 20 tennis players in the top 50 in the world. 9 players in the top 10, 4 no 1′s and about 27 Grand Slams not including about 8 Grand Slams in doubles, and had 100′s of kids with college athletic scholarships to major college’s, so I do develop lots of college players!!!

Most coaches in this country, including the USTA, and tennis academies believes in this high topspin nonsense. And they wonder why we don’t have any great players any more. If I was in the business of pleasing parents or ran an Academy to make the kids more consistent by hitting the ball higher, like 5 to 6 feet with lots of topspin I might do the same, but I wont. Parents will be pleased, because the kid is more consistent, instead of teaching consistency with discipline. It’s like pushing kids through school, instead of making it hard with discipline.

Almost all the top female players hit the ball extremely hard. Very hard, almost all of them. So why would you teach the kids this HIGH over the net with lots of TOPSPIN. The females might have some topspin, but not extreme. Maria Sharapova won the French Open twice, NOT because she is a clay court player, far from it. But she hits the daylights out of the ball and is consistent, since she has been doing it since 10 years old, without lots of topspin, DAH. Clay gives her a little more time to be able to set up. The men hit more spin, BUT still hit the hell out of the ball. It takes a machine to determine the amount of spin on the ball that Roger Federer hits. SOOOO … have your kids hit the ball HARD from day one. Get rid of this high topspin. My way you could have a harder time in the 12′s . But if your kid is talented, he or she will win the 12 ‘s and has a chance to become NO 1 in the world. There are some crazy coaches who put a rope 6 feet ABOVE the net to teach the kid to hit high over the net. Take the kid somewhere else, if you want a champion.

Hey Jose (Jose Higueras) how come Spain has no great females. The one newcomer, forgot her name, Muguzuma (Gabrine Muguruza) maybe, hits the ball very hard and fairly flat. Why not teach that to American tennis kids. This Country won’t have any no 1′s unless you make a change. Do away with this miniature tennis. A waste, just a money maker for some people, but won’t make champions and start hitting the ball real hard and consistent. Teach discipline on the tennis court.

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Believing in Yourself

As competitors we are all told, “It is crucially important to believe in yourself.” Our coaches regale us with tales of how great tennis players believe in themselves and how this belief carries them past obstacles and leads to victory in major championships. We are admonished that unless we believe in ourselves, we can work on our strokes and conjure up cunning game plans all we like. Victory will, nonetheless, remain elusive. In fact, if we don’t believe in ourselves, we are exhibiting the dreaded “loser’s mentality.”

Allen Fox Winning Mental Match 195x300 Believing in Yourself

It’s hard talk yourself into it.
Convinced of its value, we continually search the recesses of our hearts for this vital conviction. As we walk on tennis court to face an opponent who is ranked above us and who is expected to beat us, we look everywhere for self-belief and, horror of horrors, come up empty! Try as we may, we simply can’t bring ourselves to presume, with ample certainty, that we are going to win. We have been assured that “winners” believe they will win, but we don’t. The humbling conclusion is that something is wrong with us. We are missing that crucial mental element common to winners – belief in ourselves.

So we try to get it. We meditate about winning, thinking over and over, “I am going to win. I am going to win.” It doesn’t help. We visualize winning. In our mind’s eye we picture hitting great shots past a helpless opponent. Again and again we mentally pound our opponent into oblivion. We imagine the flush of victory and the admiration of onlookers. It momentarily feels good, but reality sets back in quickly. Unfortunately, we still have to actually do it. As a last resort we try positive self talk. “I am powerful. My opponent can do nothing to defeat me. My forehand is great. My backhand is magnificent. My serve is devastating. I am certain to win.” In the end, however, it all comes to naught when we walk on the court. Our highly-ranked opponent looks as ominous as ever.

You can win without it.
Are those of us not blessed with the champion’s certainty doomed to defeat? Not by a long-shot! Consider the words of Marat Safin after he won the 2005 Australian Open: “This is a huge relief for me, because didn’t believe I could win. I’ve already lost two finals here before and I started to doubt myself. I thought it was going to happen again.” Obviously it is possible to win without believing in yourself. It is easier, of course, to win if you do, but if you don’t there are a number of ways you can improve your chances of winning.

Self belief = Confidence:
First, however, lets take a deeper look at what we really mean when we talk about “believing in yourself.” We are really talking about confidence. (Hereafter, I will use the terms “confidence” and “self belief” interchangeably.) And we all know, of course, that having confidence (self belief) is a great help in winning tennis matches. But what causes confidence, and more importantly, what can we do to get more of it? Can we get it out of some psychologist’s self-help book or, better yet, is there a pill we can take? (And if so, in which drug stores are they sold?)

Confidence comes from history of success.
Keep your wallet in your pocket, because there is, unfortunately, no intellectual way to create confidence out of uncertainty. As they used to say at Smith Barney, it must be obtained the old-fashioned way, you must “earn it.” And this is done by winning. Only winning begets true confidence because confidence is a subconscious and emotional “expectation of success,” and we develop these expectations, in large part, because of past experience.

For example, since the sun has, without fail, come up in the morning for the past billion years or so we expect it to come up tomorrow morning. In fact we are completely confident it will do so. If it had, historically, come up only nine mornings out of ten we would still be pretty confident of its rising tomorrow, but not absolutely confident, and if its history had been to come up one morning in ten we would be downright dubious about it.

It is the same with tennis. The more you win the more you subconsciously expect to win. Another way of expressing this is that you become more “confident.” With this increased confidence (self belief) in hand, you become stimulated rather than frightened in the clutch and are, therefore, more rather than less likely to produce your best tennis. (This is the circular nature of confidence. Winning begets confidence and confidence begets winning.) On the other hand if you have been losing a lot you develop the lurking fear, particularly when the score is close and it is near the end of the match, that something bad is about to happen – that things will go horribly wrong and you will be beaten. Simply put, you will lack “confidence.” And, of course, having or lacking confidence will profoundly affect the quality of your play.

Increases in confidence (self belief) with victory are cumulative – the more you win, the higher your confidence gets. Moreover, recency of victory is another factor. Winning a match yesterday has more impact on your present level of confidence than winning one last week or last month. By the same token, the confidence caused by a victory gradually decays with the passage of time, although the decay never completely reduces your level of confidence back to where it was before the last victory.

Some people are just naturally more confident than others.
Underlying this type of confidence is your basic confidence level (level of self belief) – the confidence level that you were either born with or that was formed during early childhood. (Nobody knows, for sure, the relative importance to our basic levels of confidence of genetics and early experience.) This means, simply, that, for whatever reasons, we are not all equally confident to begin with. Some fortunate individuals just start out more confident than others. Although all of us become more confident with victory, regardless of our initial confidence level, these same confident individuals seem to experience a greater increase in confidence with each victory (as well as a lesser decrease in confidence with each loss) than the rest of us.

Hope is a vital replacement for self-belief.
What does all this amount to? First, self belief is not something that coaches ought to admonish their pupils to have. No one can tell you to have it. You are born with some but get most of it by winning. Second, there is nothing wrong with you if you don’t have self belief when you step on court to play someone better than you. Self belief implies certainty, and reasonable people simply don’t feel certain of beating people who are better than they are. The big danger here is that you will think that lack of self belief means you have some particular character weakness. This is debilitating. Since there is nothing special you can do about getting it, the best option is to put the issue entirely aside.

All anyone really has to believe is that victory is possible. (Let the other guys worry about whether they are endowed with a sufficient amount of self belief.) All you need to walk on court with is a hopeful attitude, a reasonable game plan, persistent short-term focus on execution, emotional control, fortitude, and a well-practiced set of strokes, and you will win your fair share of matches.

Allen Fox, earned a Ph.D. in psychology from UCLA. He wrote the tennis best sellers, “If I’m the Better Player, Why Can’t I Win?” and “Think to Win,” and most recently, “Tennis: Winning the Mental Match.” Allen Fox website: http://www.allenfoxtennis.net/

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Champions Might Fail from Time to Time, but They Never Quit

Champions might fail from time to time, but they never quit. They simply keep on trying until they get it right.

Djokovic Federer 300x224 Champions Might Fail from Time to Time, but They Never Quit

When you are on a mission to achieve something, there will always be the critics, naysayers and those who say you can’t do it.

They are usually people who don’t understand having a passion or drive to succeed. When they try get to you, stop and visualize the finished product and let that bring you the energy you need. Keep your head up, surround yourself with positive people and keep moving forward. Champions might fail from time to time, but they never quit!

Countries Women’s Tennis Ranking, July 14, 2014

Look at the countries women’s tennis ranking. These results are on July, 14, 2014. As we can see,  American women tennis players are on the top with 11 players in top 100 and 631 points totally. Czech Republic moved up to the second place and Russia is on the third position.

Sloane 300x197 Countries Womens Tennis Ranking, July 14, 2014

Rank Country Points Players
1 USA 631 11
2 Czech Republic 410 8
3 Russia 403 7
4 Italy 368 6
5 Germany 324 6
6 Slovakia 280 5
7 China 252 4
8 Romania 247 5
9 Serbia 240 3
10 Spain 207 4

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Look at Countries Tennis Ranking on the Men’s Side

It is a right time to look at the top 10 in the countries’ ranking on the men’s tennis.

Djokovic Wimbledom 300x204 Look at Countries Tennis Ranking on the Men’s Side

The following results are on July, 7, 2014. As we can see, there are two world leaders Spain and France followed by Germany,  Argentina and Czech Republic. Switzerland, with two great players Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka in top 100, is on the seventh position. The U.S. men’s tennis has six players, but all of them, except N 12 John Isner, are out of top 50.

Rank Country Points Players
1 Spain 797 14
2 France 595 12
3 Germany 287 7
4 Argentina 283 6
5 Czech Republic 243 4
6 USA 236 6
7 Switzerland 193 2
8 Croatia 196 3
9 Russia 185 4
10 Canada 166 3

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