World's First Psycho Tennis Coach, Scott Groves shares his unique observations from the Uncle Toby's Royal Pines Women's Event 2005 and 3 of the best physiological habits the Pro's have that you can develop.
These tips separate the winning pro's from the early losers. The beauty of each is that anybody can learn and apply these same elements to their own game.
1. Intensity. The winning pro's train and practice with a higher intensity than the losers. The winners engage in both physical and mental intensity that builds their body and mental endurance for their upcoming matches. Up coming juniors can learn volumes from this practice. Physical intensity is one thing, but your concentration muscle must grow with it.
2. Power of Breath. How often do you hear a club player exhale when striking a ball? It is often rare. Yet this simple habit has many wonderful benefits. The first being that strong deep breaths provide much needed oxygen to muscles and the brain during long points. Breathing also short circuits the choking response where players are susceptible to missing easy put away balls at the end of points. Whenever you witness a player who consistently misses the 4th or 5th ball in a rally they are often holding their breath. They fight to gain a breath and their survival mechanism takes over. The point comes to a sudden end with what seemed like an unusual rush of blood. They subconsciously finish points in order to breathe again. This is similar to having your head held under water as you fight to gain a breath. The rush of adrenalin it creates is all too common in common tennis.
Check yourself the next time you miss an easy volley and you may find the source of your error is not technical. You are choking yourself through a lack of breath.
3. Trajectory. Tennis has fewer and fewer loopy shots. The days of Aranxta Sanchez- Vicario style play is gone. Russian girls like Petrova and Safina would crush a ball looped over the net to them. Anybody can improve their depth and consistency by developing a consistent arc or trajectory on their groundstrokes. Once you have it, you can then hit with greater pace and confidence. Certainty is a wonderful thing in a game full of uncertainties.
Gold Coast girl Sam Stosur and her coach Craig Morris (my old doubles partner) should be congratulated on the week Sam had at Royal Pines. Craig's emphasis on trajectory, intensity of practice and speed of rotation has allowed Sam to step up into the ranks of the top players. We can all take a leaf out of their book and learn from these necessary elements. Incorporate them into your game and watch it go top another level.