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April 1, 2008
How to 'go for your shots'


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Remember the basic principles for learning tennis with my system is to develop a 'feel' for different strokes along with developing mental skills through REPETITION.  Repetition of simple procedures create that 'feel' NOT an over emphasis on the technical skills and mechanics.  Click here for an article that I wrote on 'feel' vs 'mechanics' in April 2001

Tom's Online Tennis Lesson
How to 'go for your shots'

One of the key principles in the Tennis Warrior System is to mentally train yourself to 'go for your shots' and if you miss, accept it. But just like anything else, we humans seem to have an uncanny ability to take a correct principle and completely misapply it. Mainly because we grab onto the general principle but ignore the specifics that are necessary to understand the concept. This is the case with the principle of 'going for your shots.' A principle you MUST master if you would like to play more instinctive, more automatic and more relaxed tennis. Therefore, it is critical to understand the details surrounding the principle of 'going for your shots' to AVOID misapplication.


'Going for your shots' is a metaphor for a mental attitude. This means you have the freedom to not worry about failing when you're hitting a ball. This is a sense of being relaxed when you are in the process of hitting your shots. A good example of this relaxed mental attitude would be when your opponent's serve is long and you yell "out" as you hit one of the best returns of the match. We all have felt that exhilarating return and wondered why we cannot do that when it counts! Here is the answer why. Since the ball was served long you did not care one whit if you made it or not. As a result, you automatically melted into the ideal mental performance state. You were relaxed with no tentativeness, no cautiousness, and simply went for the shot. Accomplishing this state of mind is your goal.

Do not confuse this mental attitude of 'going for your shots' with physically hitting every ball with power. That is not what I mean by 'going for your shots.' It is no more than a relaxed mental attitude that takes confidence and months of practice. Pounding the ball into oblivion is NOT 'going for your shots.' You can be hitting a slow, medium, or hard shot and be 'going for your shots.' It's a mental attitude, not any particular way of hitting. One more time. 'GOING FOR YOUR SHOTS' IS A MENTAL ATTITUDE, NOT ANY PARTICULAR WAY OF HITTING.

If you have the ability to hit hard and keep a high percentage of balls in play, by all means go for it. Notice I said HIGH PERCENTAGE. Do not 'go for your shots' if you are selecting low percentage shots that you can only make a small percentage of the time. To keep trying the same low percentage shot over and over and over again and calling it 'going for your shots' is incorrect. You must continue to play within the boundaries of the game you possess. 'Going for your shots' does not mean to play with RECKLESS ABANDONMENT. It's playing with CONTROLLED ABANDONMENT. The CONTROL part is playing within your boundaries and the ABANDONMENT part is adapting a relaxed, carefree mental attitude when hitting. Sometimes slow, sometimes medium pace, and sometimes hitting hard but always with a relaxed, automatic mental attitude that is the signature of a champion.


1. Don't 'go for your shots' if it means hitting with uncontrolled power.
2. Don't 'go for your shots' if it means attempting to consistently try for low percentage shots.

And now you know the rest of the story!

Your Tennis Pro,

Tom Veneziano




I discovered your site around the first of the year and have been working on becoming a tennis warrior. I have purchased your book "The Truth About Winning" and the "Training for Pressure Play" CD. Though only having had a couple of months to practice the various aspects of the mental game, already I have seen improvement in my own game.

Do you ever venture back to the frozen Midwest? I would enjoy observing you working with students. Thank you for sharing the Warrior System!

Jeff Ochsankehl
Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin


ADDENDUM:  I teach a total system of thinking in regard to stroke production and mental attitude which I cannot explain in one email.  Although each lesson can stand alone you will derive tremendous physical and mental benefit by understanding the total philosophy.  These emails, my web site, books, and tapes are part of a course in tennis, not just isolated tennis tips.  They all fit together into a system.  A system that once understood can help you not only learn tennis at a faster rate, and develop mental toughness, but also give you the knowledge necessary to help guide you and your children to a better understanding of the developmental process.

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