Coaching Tip - July 2017

    Often forgotten in the Heat of battle

    Playing Tennis whether it is Socially or at a competitive or tournament level provides a great opportunity for players of all ages to meet to hit or compete with/against others.
    There are written rules and regulations which are structured to govern the sport of Tennis.
    However there are also unwritten codes of conduct/behaviour which many or most tennis players are not aware of.
    When playing Socially or competing at a Club or tournament level respect your partner and opponent(s) and behave on court in a manner in which you would expect them to recipricate.

    During your Social Hit or competitive match

    • Try to appreciate your opponent(s) good play as well as your or your partner’s good shots.

    This Sports(wo)manship effect is often catchy and your opponent will often recipricate leading to a very enjoyable match.

    •  Be fair and honest in regard to line calls and any other decisions affecting the match

    There will be times when the calls from your opponent appear to be suspect but at least you are putting them under pressure with your honesty

    • Never abuse your partner(in doubles), opponents or match/club officials

    I have have seen it all and this is the worst offence in regard to poor Sports(wo)manship.
    This type of incident is bad and the tensions rise in all players on court so much so that the game at hand is often forgotten.
    This abuse will lead to a code violation or disqualification at tournament level, a report at Club level  and an argument and possibly worse on the Social court

    • Never interact with and/or abuse spectactors or coaches (yours or opposition)

    Try to ignore the possible outside influences from this area as exchanges can interfere with the game, get heated and besides being a bad look will be a distraction from your match or hit

    • Don’t let your strong desire to win get in the way of good Sports(wo)manship

    The intensity of the match and the focus on winning can side track a player away from the Sports(wo)manship aspect so much so that line calling can get tight and perhaps the repect and courtesy towards your opponent(s) can wane during the battle on court

    • Always give your best effort in your matches

    The lack of effort during a match is a code violation and can lead to a disqualification and/or suspension at the tournament or tour level but at the club level the opponent(s) will probably just take the win.
    At the social level you might not get asked to make up a double or to come out for a hit in future.
    Many matches can be still won from a seemingly impossible postion just by hanging in there, trying to put pressure on the opposition and making the tide turn.
    Get to like the feel of the come from behind win.

    I think that is very important for all players - whether they are out for a casual hit through to all levels of competition players – to learn to enjoy the challenge and get to love the game of Tennis.
     Tennis players at all levels of ability should learn from their losses as well as their wins but importantly to be courteous on court regardless of how the match is progressing.
    After the match there are also lessons to be learned in regard to offcourt Sports(wo)manship
    You may not want to socialise with your opponent(s) but

    • Try not to boast or brag – too much - about your win(s) during the day
    • Conversely don’t get to down if you have suffered a loss

    Players at the same time should

    • Try to learn from the experience by taking positives from your match
    • Focus on the next match at hand

    Just a reminder that most tennis players are playing the game of Tennis for fun and displaying good sports(wo)omanship can help you in that quest.

    Do you find that players at your level are good sports?

    Contact me if you have comments or queries in regard to Sports(wo)manship in Tennis.

    Tennis the game of a lifetime
    Enjoy your Tennis experience