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March 1, 2001
Evaluating your match play


Hi, thank you for going to rawsports.com and voting on my site.  And thank you for your excellent comments.   It is appreciated.  It is great to see many of you catching on to these tennis concepts and improving!!!  Anyone that would like to rate my site can go to www.rawsports.com and type "tennis" in the search engine.  Then scroll down about seven links and you will find TennisWarrior.com.  You can vote under "rate it" and leave a comment if you like.

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Are you part of a team? Give them the web site and let them all come over and sign for the free email newsletter.   You will be surprised what will happen when you have everyone on the team learning similar mental principles.  I have advanced teams from lower "C" level to the higher "A" level by helping them develop unity in what they were all thinking.   It really helps!

The lesson below will test you to see if you are analyzing your matches with the correct mindset.  You be the judge!  Which mindset and set of principles do you use to evaluate your matches?

Tom's Online Tennis Lesson
Evaluating your match play

Welcome to Tom's Online Tennis Lesson, sponsored by TennisWarrior.com, "your link to professional thinking."

The other day I watched one of my students play a match.  Her name is Julie and she is nice 4.5 player.  After she finished we did a little analysis. Her comments were, "I was nervous,  I played poorly, I made a lot of simple mistakes!"   My comments were, "I thought you handled everything well.  I liked the way you played."   Interesting isn't it, two people with completely opposite views of what occurred!  Obviously we must have been focused on two different sets of principles.

For most tennis players their analysis is focused solely on the physical game.  If everything physical goes well, they played fine, but if everything does not go well, they played poorly.

Yes, you will be nervous and make mistakes.  Yes, you will play poorly from time to time.  And yes you will make simple mistakes.  Do you think these ingredients are not part of winning?  Do you think winning is about doing everything correctly?  Do you think winning is about your playing the game you think you are capable of playing?   If you do,  it is time to change your thinking and spend a little more time in what I call the Mental Toughness Sphere.

What I saw in Julie's match was a player that was nervous, but slowly working herself out of the nervousness.  What I saw was a player making mistakes here and there, but forgetting them and moving on.  What I saw was a player who was trying to stay in the Mental Toughness Sphere and develop some mental toughness, win, lose, or draw.  Julie won in a third set tiebreaker, but even if she lost, for the most part she was thinking well. This can only serve to her advantage in future matches.  The next time you play do not focus on the physical negatives, mistakes, and failures. Instead, focus on thinking correctly to handle whatever comes your way in the match.

  • You must eliminate from your mind the notion that to win you are suppose to play according to some standard that you have set.


  • You must eliminate from your mind the notion that to win you are suppose to play according to some standard that you have set.

The best definition I have found that explains this whole concept in one sentence is from an excellent book titled, Tournament Tough by Carlos Goffi. Carlos says, 

"Tournament toughness is that mental resilience and flexibility that separate champions from the pack, allowing them to win against opponents who are technically more skillful and physically more powerful, even when they are playing poorly themselves."

Hmm, no sign of perfect play in that phrase!!!  Yes, you too can think this way, but it will take some conscious effort on your part.  Learning to win even when you are playing poorly will require objectivity in the face of adversity.  To begin you must not focus too much on your physical failures, but place a higher premium on thinking correctly in your matches, win, lose, or draw!

Your email tennis pro,


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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