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Coaches Corner - tip of the month



The number of frequent tennis players enjoying our athletic game across the nation, and worldwide as well – multiple millions, is impressive to say the least. Yet, despite their good intentions and regular commitment to the game, whether recreational or competitive, their typical lack of practice time is so frustrating since, in this instance, they are short changing themselves and their level of play.

Roger Federer, in the throes of a sub-par performance – for him – in the first 4 months of the 2009 campaign, explained that, besides any lingering effects of mononucleosis, his biggest set-back was a “lack of practice time.” Are you with me so far? Arguably the most gifted tennis player of all time is regretting, and understanding, that not being able to practice as much as he was normally accustomed to took its toll.

Over the years many of the playing and coaching tennis legends, willing to share their considerable insights over a span of a couple of generations – some things do not change, have weighed-in on this subject.

Here’s my Top 10 Sampling for you to consider for your game:

1. “Progress and improvement do not come in big bunches, they come in little pieces.” - Arthur Ashe
2. “Practice may not make things perfect, but it sure makes things better.”
- Brad Gilbert
3. “Try to find a mix of stronger and weaker practice partners. Against weaker
players, you can work on your weaknesses. Against the stronger players,
you’ll have to use your strengths.” - Fred Stolle
4. “An hour of hard practice is better than going through the motions.”
- Pete Sampras
5. “ Spend more time preparing and less time regretting.” - Virginia Wade
6. “When I struggled with myself and had to build myself up, I did it on the
practice court.” - Margaret Smith Court
7. “Champions [at any level] keep playing until they get it right.” - Billie Jean King
8. “There’s no excuse for a poor serve – serving well is simply a matter of practice.”
- Pancho Gonzales
9. “If the pain of losing to people is greater than the pain of making changes, then
by all means, make the changes.” - Vic Braden
10. “Everyone needs a coach…who can see what you’re doing when you cannot.”
- Pete Sampras

Playing set after set, day after day, is not the way to achieve your personal best.
One of the definitions of practice is “to perform or work at repeatedly so as to become proficient.”

And, yes, practice with the right person can be fun too!

Questions and comments are welcome at anytime for all tips present and past via email.

This Tip of the Month is copyright© by Jak Beardsworth Tennis. All rights reserved. Copies may be made only with the permission of and by Jak Beardsworth. Contact him here.

Tips Archive

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