While watching an Australian Open semifinal match between Andy Murray and David Ferrer, I heard Martina Navratlilova make a poignant observation about the training and development of top junior players. Murray had begun to turn the match around and was stringing together rally shots that moved Ferrer “pillar to post” and set up several winning volleys. The effectiveness of Murray’s match play prompted Martina to comment, “When are players supposed to learn strategy? Suddenly when they turn 18 and start playing on the tour?”
Of course, Martina went on to say these lessons must be taught at much younger ages – it’s not a sudden, mysterious event that will occur when a player needs it most. Learning about strategy development is an integral and essential part of a player’s ongoing “schooling” and doesn’t just happen spontaneously.
There must be an organized plan to teach match play strategy, a truth which is often ignored to the detriment of otherwise very talented players!
Too many think and teach that great tennis shots and speed will always carry the match. Rarely do you hear of “skull sessions” anymore where junior players and coaches discuss tactical situations and pre-match mental preparation so players already know what to do in those game situations.
My Dad has often paraphrased Emerson, “The man who knows how to do something well will always have a job, but the man who also knows why something works will always be his boss.“
Knowing how and why to use certain strategies, in certain situations, against certain players will always prove to be a tremendous advantage over the player who just shows up with their bag of great shots and a mentality to just return the ball over the net – as Andy Roddick so ably stated at the same Aussie Open, simply a “See ball, Hit ball” game plan. Be prepared to be the boss and control the match with your offensive plan rather than be the player who can only react defensively to what’s hit at them.
So how do you get to this point?
TheTennisOrganizer.com Scorebooks are designed to facilitate the training process for the “thinking” player by providing the statistics & point-by-point match description that permits a thorough analysis of themselves and their opponent. Why? So the effectiveness of that match’s strategy can be evaluated and then modified to produce even more success in the future – it is the tennis textbook with the facts that can make you a smarter player. Know definitively which strokes are your weakest and devote the practice time needed to turn that situation around.
I firmly believe, “Start charting your match statistics & stop making the same old match mistakes!!“
Don’t be doomed to repeat the same unsatisfactory results because you never change how you prepare for your matches. Tell your coaches & pros that you want to learn the why, not just the how, of playing tennis. “Study to show thyself approved”, and you can expect improved tournament outcomes.
Don’t fail because you didn’t read TheTennisOrganizer.com Scorebook – it has the answers to help conquer your next tennis test!