Technique Is NOT The Answer | AskThePro

Technique improvements are great, but if you’re in a pattern of losing to lower level players it’s NOT the answer.
A quick story from Olivier in France illustrates that perfectly.
He was able to play at a “9 out of 10” during practice but only a “2 out of 10” during matches, especially against players who were weaker than him.
During one particular match he actually completely lost confidence and feel for his backhand while his opponent floated him weak shot after weak shot.
Here’s how he tried to solve the problem at first:
  • “I had mostly looked at the technical aspects. I had looked at the internet already because I remember doing some drills and stuff like that because I was really thinking that I needed to find the technical stuff that makes me be more consistent in my tennis. But then I realized, no, what is happening that I lose all this confidence in just a moment, in just a second? So either I fix that and I progress so that I can see that it’s no longer a disaster or I quit and do something else.”

Olivier eventually came to understand a vital truth: if technique execution is good during practice but significantly worse during matches you do NOT have a technique problem.
You have a mental demon problem.
Mental demons cause a wide range of problems for players. Low performance during matches is just one of them but it’s definitely one of the most common.
Here’s how another one of our students describes it:
  • “I have a regular weekly match with someone I have been playing for many years. Our matches were always competitive but then I started overthinking my shots and forcing changes and he started beating me (badly).

Technique is a fundamental element to tennis success, but becoming fixated on it can cause big drops in match performance!

Source: Jorge Capestany, USPTA