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February 1, 2011
Letting Go in Your Tennis Matches


Welcome to all the new subscribers to my email tennis lessons.  You will receive one long lesson on the first of every month and some quick tips in between.

Send your tennis buddies or whole team to www.tenniswarrior.com to sign up for their free email tennis lessons.

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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
Letting Go in Your Tennis Matches

One of the most difficult mentally tough principles to integrate into your pressure matches is the skill of letting go and hitting your shots.

QUALIFIER: Letting go does not always mean to pulverize every ball with blinding speed or power. Letting go is the absence of mental tentativeness or cautiousness when hitting your shots. You can hit the ball with power or with a deft drop shot and mentally be letting go. This concept is crucial when learning the art of letting go and developing the freedom to go for your shots.

You must understand that you may be able to demonstrate this mental attitude in your practice sessions but not in your pressure match play. To accomplish this mental skill in match play a decision is required on your part to not be scared and to go for your shots. There are no magic pills or sophisticated formulas that will help you accomplish this goal. Match toughness requires time and match play practice where you are constantly challenging yourself to make the correct decisions.

Whether you fail or not is not the issue. The first step is learning to make the decision to put yourself on the line and go for it. A negative consequence of that decision cannot be a stumbling block that stops you from making the same decision in your upcoming matches.

But be of good cheer you are not alone in attempting to integrate your practice regimen into pressure match play situations. This same mental dilemma exist in many of your top pros. They play scared and tentative at crucial moments in match play. How do they deal with this situation? The same way you should learn to deal with it. Your top pros become determined not to play tentatively or cautiously in their next matches.

Below is a quote from Sam Querrey found in the Houston Chronicle. Sam is one of the top players in the world. Note how he has the same identical "practice versus match play" dilemma that you do, and note his solution.

QUERREY VOWS NOT TO PLAY 'SCARED' THIS TIME, AMERICAN USES RUNNER-UP FINISH AT '10 U.S. CLAYS AS MOTIVATION, by Dale Robertson, copyright 2011 Houston Chronicle, Jan. 12, 2011, 10:39pm

"'I promise you, the next time you see me I won't be rolling the ball over at deuce,' Querrey said after the loss to Chela. 'I learned today that I need to take more chances and hit the ball much bigger on the big points. I need to step up in those situations. You can work on that in practice all you want, but it's not the same. You've got to do it in matches. If you fly the ball long, at least you're going to lose the way you want to lose.

'I was just scared to do it. You can't be scared.'"

Sam's statement is loaded with some excellent mental toughness principles to bridge the gap from your practice play to your match play. As he says, "You can't be scared" and "if you fly the ball long, at least you're going to lose the way you want to lose."

My challenge to you as a Tennis Warrior is, the next time you play a match will we see you becoming tentative and scared or will we see you stepping up to the plate and going for your shots? You are always one decision away from integrating what you have learned in your weekly practice to your match play. Sam Querrey made his decision; now it's your turn.

Your tennis pro,

Tom Veneziano



Hi Tom,

I must thank you so much for your tennis lessons, it is really inspiring and your insight in this game is incredible.

I was actually thinking about you when my son had finished two of his games today. I entered him in a higher age group, under 14, because I wanted to expose him to stronger players. He played so awesomely that my jaw dropped. He has developed his own style and a confidence that is stunning everyone. Why? Because of repetition.

My toes curled because with utter enjoyment when a coach that saw my son play previously about 3 months ago made some interesting comments. She does not know what I do and she made the following statement:

She said she could not believe that my son is the same kid playing on court and that he has developed an awesome individual style and temperament that she has not seen before. She said that his forehand was far superior than any kid in his age group. But one very exciting thing she said was that he has the ability to hit a ball in a direction without forced muscle action and it was so natural that he could become a dangerous tennis player. In other words he has developed the ability to hit a smashing winner and make it look like an ordinary stroke without effort. Other players must force the shot and use muscle to get that speed.

I am over the moon and what can I say, repetition is doing it!!!! I am proof of it, if he carries on like this number one position in the country is not far off.

I am slowly but surely increasing his ball count per week and I can see the progress before my very eyes!!!! Now he can't wait to get on to the court to hit balls because he has now realised, the more balls I hit the better I get. He is now tasting the result of repetition!!!

It does not come easy, it's hours of play and commitment. You can actually see how his body is changing and adapting and how his attitude is becoming more and more positive!!


Pretoria, South Africa


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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