Coaching Tip - June 2017

    Practice for your tennis competition
    By Training under Simulated match conditions

    Many Tennis players practice the wrong way.
    They go out on court for hours just hitting many hundreds of tennis balls without playing under match conditions.
    It is vital to practice the way you would like to play during competition.
    Players should simulate match conditions by playing points, a set or the best of 3 sets and against different opponents so that they can learn to cope with the scoreboard pressure experienced during match play.

    Prepare for your training/practice sessions
    as you would for a match or tournament
    - Warm up with a light run and use dynamic stretches to prepare your body for the session ahead
    - Get in the zone by setting your mind to focus on the task ahead
    - Use the hit up to get the feel of racquet on ball and a rhythm on all Tennis strokes

    Practice under match conditions
    Scoreboard Pressure
    The pressure encountered – known as scoreboard pressure – during matches can affect many players and this pressure from within can cause a double fault or two and/or a poor choice in their shot selection i.e. a drop shot from the baseline at a critical time in the match.
    Tennis players can practice to help overcome this pressure by playing simulated games when serving and receiving
    Within a game
    - The score is 30-40 and the game is then played to completion
    The player can then practice to both save and win the game from a difficult position
    - The score is 40-15 and the game is then played to completion
    In this scenario, the player can hopefully develop the confidence to Serve out the game
    Within a Set
    The practice for the game outlined above can be expanded so that the player can simulate match conditions when serving and receiving near the end of a set
    - The game score is 5 to 4 and the point score 15-40 and the set is played out.
    A normal 7- point Tie break is to be played if the reaches 6 games all
    - The game score is 4 to 5 and the point score is 40-30 and the set is played out.
    A normal 7- point Tie break is to be played if the reaches 6 games all
    Playing a Set
    The Playing of Pressure points can help to overcome the effects of scoreboard pressure but it is important to practice playing a set under match conditions to help develop your Mental skills and as a lead up to a match under your usual tournament/match format.
    Best of 3 sets
    Many tournaments and Club competitions play a best of 3 set format so your next stage of practice is to play some practice matches under this format.

    Play Matches against different Players
    The suggested practice sessions as outlined above will help to improve your tennis game and should help you adjust to the scoreboard pressure during your tournament and competitive matches.
    Practicing against different Tennis players will also help
    - Practice against players at different skill levels will help to develop your match skills
    - Players have different styles i.e. older players may hit with more slice or have less top spin and will probably come to the net more often so they would be good to practice against.

    Cool Down
    After your practice/training and Competition/tournament sessions.

    The cool down is often forgotten by Tennis players but is vital for a full and complete recovery in readiness
    for that next match/training session.
    This involves a walk around the courts or nearby surrounds to cool down from the full-on match activities and then a systematic Static stretching regime from head to toe to help stretch out the muscles.
    A recovery type Sports drink can be consumed at this stage to help replace the electrolytes lost during the
    Intense match/training session and this will help to prevent cramping after the event.

    Hopefully the guide above will help you get the most out of your practice sessions and allow you to take your game to the next level.

    Tennis the game of a lifetime

    Check out my previous coaching tips on my website.
    Send me an Email if you have any comments.

    Coach Steve