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April 1, 2000
You were winning 5-1 and lost?

Hi, Another lesson! I just want you to know that you all should give up tennis and take up golf...there is no hope! Only kidding...April fools! I'm sure I did not slide that by a lot of you. Hope everyone is learning tennis and using some of these emails to slowly change some of your thinking. Please feel free to email these lessons to your friends. If they would like to be placed on my email list they can send their email to tom@tenniswarrior.com.  Or visit my web site at www.TennisWarrior.com.

Mental Toughness Sphere vs. Emotional Sphere. Which one do you reside in most of the time in your matches? How do you know which one you are in? Well, if your negatives, mistakes, and failures are getting to you, you are in the Emotional Sphere. If your forgetting your mistakes and moving on you are in the Mental Toughness Sphere...at least for the moment!  HA! If you are in the Mental Toughness Sphere you will think "the next shot is more important than the last mistake." If you are in the Emotional Sphere you will think "the last mistake is more important than the next shot." Your goal always is to remain in the Mental Toughness Sphere as long as you can. What helps you stay in the Mental Toughness Sphere? Learning the correct information to help you think properly, then applying it. Below is one aspect of mental toughness to help you learn and stay in the Mental Toughness Sphere. It is your job to apply it! Enjoy!

Tom's Online Tennis Lesson

Welcome to the tennis lesson hotline, sponsored by TennisWarrior.com, "your link to professional thinking." I'm Tom Veneziano. This lesson last approximately 2 minutes and changes on the first of every month.

Mental toughness is the accumulation of valuable information to be utilized at the proper time. Most people think mental toughness is perseverance, self-determination, self-confidence, etc. Although all of these are part of mental toughness the true veteran realizes it is the information he accumulates and uses at the proper time that is true mental toughness. This knowledge, in turn, helps him to be confident, stay determined, and persevere. One situation that requires mental toughness, oddly enough, is when you are on the verge of winning. Often players come to me confused and baffled after being up 5-1 in a set, then losing! Here is some information that will help.

First, you are not alone, this also happens to pros. Second, a certain percentage of the time it is not because you did anything wrong, but because your opponent started doing something right. Third, the rest of the time here's what usually happens. You advance to 5-1 playing and thinking a certain way, then unknowingly you change your thinking. Instead of mentally playing to win, you start playing not to lose. In other words, you protect your lead. You should have continued playing the way that advanced you to 5-1 in the first place. Your game changes because your thinking changes! You must continue to mentally play to win instead of playing not to lose.

As far as your opponents are concerned they are loose as a goose. There is no pressure! They figure they are going to lose anyway so what is the difference. Couple these two scenarios together and the team that is winning 5-1 has a prescription for possible disaster. The next time you are in this situation remind yourself to mentally keep playing to win. Do not try to protect your lead. You may want to mentally try and play more aggressive. In short...go for the Gold!

One last thing. You should never forget this principle. On the verge of victory players are vulnerable to defeat. Use this when the tables are turned and your opponents have you down 1-5. They also will try to protect their lead by playing not to lose. This makes them a little vulnerable, which may give you an opportunity to get back in the match! Instead of thinking you are down 1-5, I will never win. Use it as an opportunity to not only get back in the match, but if you pull off a comeback you could demoralize your opponents. What you think could be the difference between victory or defeat. Remember, mental toughness is the accumulation of valuable information to be utilized at the proper time. When you are up 5-1 you think one way and when you are down 1-5 you think another. Both are situations that must be mastered by the Tennis Warrior.

Your email tennis coach,


© 2000 Tom Veneziano, 10855 Meadowglen #1022, Houston, TX 77042

What others are saying about my tapes!

"Tom deals with the thinking end of tennis like no one else. It's almost too difficult to explain, you have to experience it. He has an uncanny knack for getting right to the heart of the matter. You come away thinking, that's right: it makes sense!"

Colleen Cremer, Houston, TX.

"It's interesting to note that everyone can use these tapes from beginner to championship level. You can apply the information to whatever level you play on."

Dan Hanusa, Houston, TX.

" Tom's audio cassettes have changed my thinking, aligning it with the correct information needed to improve my game. He's right there with you, inside your head, challenging you to make those changes. It's like having your own personal coach! I highly recommend his tapes for everyone."

Linda Zimmerman, Houston, TX.

"On the way to my HLTA match I listened to Tom's tape, "Some Before Match Pointers." Call it a coincidence, but I won my first HLTA match ever! I just seemed to be in a better frame of mind. Thanks, Tom."

Mary Ogden, Houston, TX.

"Tom and I have been friends for over twenty years. It's not surprising to me players talk so positively about his tapes. He's always possessed exceptional athletic ability along with an unusual analytical mind. Tom simply likes to think! At times he would drive me crazy, but he was the driving force behind my journey into tennis. I'm 6'1" and Tom is 5'6" but I could never beat the little imp! All joking aside, if Tom's thinking is on audio cassettes, you should listen! You'll never view tennis the same way again!"

Sam Lacava, Tennis Professional, Stewartsville, N.J.

Thank you all for the testimonials! I appreciate it!


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