In a match, what do you do on changeovers? What should you think about? How do you handle the negative voice inside your head? Discover tools that can help.
Coach: Estevam Strecker, head tennis coach
Bio: Former head men’s tennis coach at St. Edward’s in Austin, Texas. Second-straight Heartland Conference Coach of the Year award and two-consecutive trips to the NCAA Regional Tournament. Played collegiate tennis at Auburn from 1999 to 2002, claiming 86 singles victories (8th on the all-time list) and 3 NCAA Tournament appearances. Bachelor’s in Exercise Science and Masters in Exercise Physiology.
Length: 3 min 10 sec
Other tracks by Estevam Strecker: Changeovers, Losing The First Set, Be mentally Yeady, Regain Your Confidence.
You might like: Routines.
One of the most valuable times in a tennis match is the time you are sitting on a bench or on a chair all alone of your thoughts. It is the moment of truth. The moment you ask yourself, who am I today? Am I the competitor I know I can be? Am I the player who is ready to win? Or are you focusing on all the things you have no control over? Are you worrying about things that make absolutely no difference in the outcome of the next few points.
On a changeover in a tennis match, the only things that matter are the things you're focusing on in that very moment. You must have a plan set up for yourself that works for you to make sure that you do what you can control in that time. To control your thoughts. That's the power, you must develop a routine that is followed on every changeover.
Here are the important things to focus on. Approaching the bench, the longer you take to get to the bench, the more vulnerable you are. The longer the negativity voice in your head has to prepare its speech and you must silence their voice. A brisk walk or even a nice jog to the bench is a must. Make sure you are focusing on your steps all the way until you are sitting down.
Hydration is the absolute most important part of a changeover. Make sure you know how much you must drink and what you're drinking. Focus on the number of sips you are taking in every changeover to make sure you are drinking enough. And, remind yourself that taking care of your hydration, is like taking care of fuel for the engine.
Your eyes must be under control at all times. Wandering eyes are the ultimate enemy. Wandering eyes signal weakness and lack of focus. Have a plan to where you are looking to keep your eyes locked in place while you are telling yourself off, while you're drinking. Make that place no further than two to three feet from where you're sitting and be disciplined. Stay focused on that moment.
Read your notes. Have a piece of paper or a notebook where you write four to five things you are focusing on in this specific match. Those are your reminders of what you are working on. Things you are trying to accomplish. Things you are trying to improve. Make sure your brain is always on task. You have no time to be undisciplined
And, just before you leave the bench or the chair, give yourself one last reminder that today, no one is going to work harder than you. No one wants to win more than you do. Now get up jog to the baseline and make it happen. You are a workhorse, You are a warrior. You want to win more than your opponent does.