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Prime Performance System: What does it take to perform your best?

A fundamental question I have been exploring in my career is: What does it take to perform your best? If you can learn how to systematically perform your best, you will be successful. How much success depends on factors both within and outside their control. Over the years, I and others have identified factors that we believe are necessary to perform at your highest level and achieve success, for example, intrinsic motivation, confidence, resilience, emotional intelligence, habits, focus, practice, and many others. Yet, I have always felt that these explanations were, standing alone, too simplistic to adequately explain such...

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Tennis Warrior: More Knowledge, Less Frustration!

TOM’S ONLINE TENNIS LESSON – More Knowledge, Less Frustration One of my students asked me why she could hit groundstrokes much better when her opponent was up at the net than when he was on the baseline. Has this ever happened to you? Your groundstroke mechanics are better when you are hitting to a net player, but when that player moves back to the baseline your mechanics deteriorate. Why? The answer is twofold and clearly demonstrates that tennis is not a game of mechanics but a game of timing, judgment and balance. First, when you have a target (the...

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QUICK TIP – What’s all the racket about a racket?

Truly, only you can choose the right racket for you. There are so many different rackets and too much subjectivity and psychology involved in selecting the perfect racket. The manufacturers expound on this and that about the intricacies of their racket and strings which leaves your head whirling. In their best salesmanship mode they advise that if you are a control player use this racket, a power player that one, a net rusher still another… ah! And a baseline player calls for yet another type of racket. What happens if you are all of these: a power player with...

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TOM’S ONLINE TENNIS LESSON – Can the Correct Mental Attitude Improve Your Mechanics?

Your mental attitude, whether positive or negative, has a major impact on your physical game, which includes your vision, timing, balance, etc. With a positive mental attitude your mind clears the way for your stroke production to operate at an optimum level. With a negative mental attitude your mind blocks the pathway to optimum play resulting in a subpar performance. In a recent lesson I gave, the player I was coaching was having some trouble with her timing, rhythm and stroke production. Although her game did not look bad, she was struggling with her feel. After she hit 250...

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QUICK TIP – Improve your volley with no technique

Many times when teaching I can adjust a student’s thinking and as a result affect stroke production. This quick tip on volleying can improve your volleys without making any major changes in your stroke. Would you like to improve your volley without consciously changing any technical skill? The next time you volley do not think in terms of hitting a winner. Instead, think in terms of consistency and control. Simple, isn’t it? It may be, but do not assume you think correctly when hitting volleys. I have been teaching a long time and just about everyone tries to go...

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QUICK TIP – Break tiebreakers in your favor

You have played great tennis and worked your way into a 6-6 tie. A tiebreaker will now determine the set. Wow! Now what? All players have a different spin on how to handle tiebreakers. I’ve always liked Jimmy Connors’s approach. He, like many other top players, would play more aggressive in a tiebreaker scenario. Playing on the aggressive does not mean constantly attacking the net, but being mentally aggressive with controlled playing. Remember, each point in a tiebreaker is like winning a whole game. You are trying to make things happen and keep your opponent under pressure, but WITHOUT...

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Goal Setting

Goal Setting If you don’t plan out what you want to improve in your game, then you rely on your willpower and motivation to inspire you to act. But if you do plan out when and where you are going to improve your game, your goal has a time and a space to live in the real world. This shift in perspective allows your environment to act as a cue for improvement you want to make. To put it simply: planning out when and where you will focus on improving your game, turns your environment into a trigger for...

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Sports Hypnosis: The Athlete’s Ultimate ”Secret Weapon”

Sports Hypnosis? What is that? There are so many myths and misunderstandings regarding hypnosis that the tremendous advantages of its use for any athlete are often overlooked. In fact, of all the Sports Psychologists who practice in the U.S., only a handful are Certified Sports Hypnotherapy Specialists. These highly trained psychologists teach the wonderful skills of hypnosis and self-hypnosis to their clients in order to maximize their athletic performance?consistently. Since tennis, for example, is an individual sport, the use of hypnosis is perfectly suited for tennis players of all ages. What, Exactly, is Hypnosis, Anyway? Evidence of hypnotic-like experiences...

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Tennis Legends: Patrick Rafter ? serve and volley expert

The Australians have enourmously rich tennis history. As well in men?s as women?s tennis, also in team rivalry and in organizing competitions. Moreover legendary players like for example Rod Laver, Ken Rosewell, Roy Emerson, Tony Roche or Margaret Court whether Evonne Goolagong are the names which changed the sport of tennis and their impact or results are still important for upcoming generations of competitors on the courts. They worked out longevity and best hall of fame status. One of the remarkable person in Aussie tennis is Pat Rafter who was the player great to watch. His serve with fantastic volleys was the game which mostly does not exist in singles as most of the contenders are baseliners or more universal players? Results, contracts, honours In the years of Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, the Australian was the man who won two times US Open championship and achieved two finals of Wimbledon. In doubles rivalry he triumphed in Australian Open with Swede Jonas Bjorkman, the current Andy Murray?s coach. The Kangaroo is also former number one in the world ranked player, although it lasted only for one week. The stats won-lost in singles are 358-191 and in doubles are 214-111. Earnings totally on the court were 11.127.058 $, of course additionally contracts with companies like Prince, Reebok or Dunlop. Since his retirement, Rafter become an underwear model...

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BUILDING YOUR CHARACTER THROUGH TENNIS

Dr. Jorge A. Valverde* Everybody has a purpose, a destiny. And each of us has to go through a process where we grow and mature.   Your character is who you are and what you do when nobody is watching you. And the key to develop your character is learning to be self-disciplined. Self-discipline is the ability to focus on what needs to be done at the right time and place with total commitment to excellence, whether or not it is convenient and regardless of the circumstances or obstacles you face. Self-discipline is possible because one has transcended beyond the moment, inspired by the clear vision of his purpose and those who support him unconditionally. To grow and mature you must change and shape your character. You must study your nature and you must challenge it with total determination in order to achieve excellence in every aspect of your life. If you don’t change beyond your nature, you are actually going backwards. Your nature is composed of your genetics, family, social environment, and cultural conditioning. Your genetic makeup carries with it the generational baggage, with many great aspects and many that are detrimental to your physical and psychological growth.  The same is true about your family; it can provide you with physical and psychological shelter but also can condition you with habits that will hold you back in your...

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