This is a short list of the different mindsets you should strive to recognize and control on the tennis court. At the same time, you need to recognize that your opponent may also try to navigate into these mindsets which will benefit him or her, and hurt you.
This is #1. You want to always be in control, even if you’re getting your butt kicked. Control means a lot of things on the tennis court. You don’t want to have an outburst but you also equally don’t want to be a puppet at the mercy of your opponent. There are many tricks to gain and hold control and we will cover many of those in more detail soon.
Calm is an important #2. You can never get rattled on the court, and even if you do, you can never appear to be rattled. The minute you do, you hand over all power to your opponent. Take deep breaths, often. Never lose your cool because you can never come back fully from doing so. Which leads to…
You should be ultra-competitive. It’s a big reason why playing tennis is so much fun. There is a winner and a loser. It’s a game. But how you as a player approach your competitive spirit means everything. You don’t want to be the guy that seems to care so much that he is smashing his racket and hitting balls all over the place. Rather, you want that person to be your opponent, doing it because you are playing smarter and trying harder than they are.
You will always want to keep a tab on these states of mind, before, during and after your match. This is the first step; now let’s look at some specific strategies and tactics you can implement to strengthen your presence and weaken your opponents.