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October 1, 2011
Are You Having a Bad Week of Tennis?


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.

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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
Are You Having a Bad Week of Tennis?

When players have a good week of winning they come to their lesson exuberant, motivated and ready to train. But then when they have a poor week of tennis they drag into the lesson deflated, depressed and unmotivated to train properly. These two scenarios play out on tennis courts over and over again around the world.

In the second scenario, players allow their emotions to dictate to their mental attitude, and then let their mental attitude dictate to their body. Their discouragement demolishes the possibility of a good training session. A losing streak is the time to begin the intense training that is critical to regaining an edge, but oddly enough, human nature does just the opposite!

Let me dissect this "opposite phenomenon" in the hope that you will be alert to this pitfall and avoid falling into counter-productive thinking.

Here is the story. Once a player has a lousy week of match-play tennis he then finds himself reluctantly heading to the courts for practice. Two patterns of thinking dominate.


The first pattern is depicted by the whining, "I'm so down, I don't feel like training. What is the purpose of more training anyway? Look at that disaster last week!"

This is the typical "Poor me! I work so hard and I just can't catch a break." You now are a victim. You practice hard, yet nothing goes your way, so you're off balance, dizzy with failure. Two weeks ago you were a sensation, but that memory has vanished. All is lost! In this scenario the player continues to train, but he trains half-heartedly, only giving 60 to 70 percent effort.

Pattern Two: FIX IT QUICK

In this pattern, the player comes to the lesson disheartened from a loss but motivated to vigorously overhaul his game and fix it now! He comes on the court, giving 110 to 120 percent effort, thinking he will miraculously solve all his problems and feel better about himself. By his rationale, if he can try extra hard his game will improve, then he'll feel better and nullify last week's losses.


On one side we have a player who becomes lethargic and unmotivated, on the other side we have one who becomes overzealous. Either way, each player is immersed in an emotional reaction to his losses. This emotion dominates the player's thinking and produces a poor training session.

To avoid these pitfalls you must first be honest with yourself and be aware of thinking incorrectly. How do you know when you are incorrect? Simple! After the bad week you will head to the courts to practice, but you will have no desire to work your normal training program. Instead, you will feel like you should do something different. At this point you must recognize you are off track.

Once you recognize that you are mentally going off track, you must then override your emotional thinking with Tennis Warrior principles. In this case, the "Champions Do the Opposite" principle is your answer. You quickly shut down your emotional, counter-productive thinking and do the complete opposite of what you are feeling. You continue your normal training program, and by the end of the training session you are back on track and advancing with stability and focus.

Tennis Warriors and Champions are masters at neutralizing a negative external environment by creating a positive internal environment and stabilizing the situation. You will never be a victim of emotions or circumstances, but you will be victorious with a stalwart mental toughness of a Tennis Warrior.

Your tennis pro,

Tom Veneziano




Just want to thank you for your website and your email newsletter. Coaching in the barrio here in Tucson, I find that I have, at best, 3 or 4 years to develop college-level players. One of the first things I do is have my new players subscribe to your newsletter (and of course I read it religiously). Thanks to you, I've had eight players in the past five years offered scholarships to play college tennis, including two Division 1 players, neither of whom had a lesson with a real pro until her junior year.

Keep up the good work!

Stacy Haines, high school coach, Tucson, AZ


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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