ATP: May 14 Badge Lessons:

More valuable ‘how 2 play’ lessons from yesterday’s match and a repeat of some from the previous match.

In a repeating pattern, both our pairs started well (after good prematch warmup) and won the first sets easily.  Again, Mike/Sam continued on and completed both sets successfully against the better pair. Meanwhile on court 2, the opposition, while clearly outgunned by Bobby/Fred regrouped and changed the game.  They continued this pattern against Mike/Sam.

In brief, they changed the rhythm of the game by:

1. taking much more time between points and particularly on change of ends.

2. Hitting slower, short balls particularly on serve forcing us to generate our own pace.

Combining 1/2 gives ‘too much time to think’, causes players to doubt their ability and leads to playing ‘not to lose’. Or stated more simply, playing the opponents game.�

Re 1. Our team collectively plays ‘fast’ compared to most players.  The team has learned the lesson of taking time in preparing to serve on big points and now has to learn how to manage the same on the return game … need to reinforce the use of breathing and ritual to get set between ‘points’ regardless of other player’s game rhythm.

Re 2.  Reinforces both the need to better understand the ‘ghost line’ strategy and be confident in execution.

It’s takes several weeks of practice to learn how to execute on our coaching court and then confidently apply to a match.  This is why I stress focusing on point by point — rather than games or winning/losing.  Yep everyone learns by making mistakes.

It’s tough to learn how to execute under match pressure even so that’s why we are playing badge. Our focus is on learning point-by-point rather than simply winning or losing. As I often say, most times you learn, a few times you win.  It’s a journey not a race.

Learning how to hit the ball is the easy part of tennis. Learning how to play, well that is the difficult part for most players.

School’s in again Sunday at 1230p.