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Why do we try to ‘play up’ during a match

On the day of a match, we tend to try to play better than we are. How can we help ourselves with that?

Athletes get into performance situations where they want to do more or play better, but matches are not the time to take chances.

When players find themselves in situations where their opponent is better than they are, they try to ‘play up’. Athletes try to be better than they really are for fear of not being good enough.

Really we should stick with what we know and have practiced. In a tennis match, we aren’t going to be any better than what we are.

Sure, we might occasionally pull out a better shot, but luck won’t last long.

The outcome of trying to ‘play up’ in a match, is that our brain gets confused about what we are asking for, because we have not practiced it.

The brain searches the data banks and comes up empty. What does it do instead? It braces for loss and failure, because it is not really sure what to do. The body gets tense, which makes it incredibly difficult to hit any shot. A sure recipe for disaster.

As human beings, we feel like we are not good enough, until we’ve passed our perception of how much better everyone else is. Tennis is no different. If we want to get better, help is required to figure out what elements we want to improve on and put those into our practice goals.

This is where we have control.

Therefore Coaching and Practice is the key to success. Please get in touch with the Coaching Team so that you can practice the shots you need to improve your match play. Contact AJ – coaching@crowboroughtennis.co.uk

AJ and the Coaching Team