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How To Win Playing Better Tennis?

“Win playing better tennis.” – Raj Gavurla

I really understood you had a tennis match after watching the NBA Playoffs last night.  How did it go?  My job is to performance consult and performance coach at the professional, college, academy, high school, and recreational levels. The main difference between them is better mental performance skills.  Most of the pros know how to hit the ball.  It’s bettering their mental performance skills to play better tennis they need to win more.

Yes, I also play tennis and I like playing with all levels because I approach each with a different frame of mind.  All levels of players pose a different challenge to me.  Recently, I’ve been playing with a group of recreational players. They see me warm up beforehand, bring my water, and my chair and watch me as I warm up and say “that’s what we need to do”.  Yet, week after week they come out and just start playing.  They warm up without practicing their volleys and overheads.  It’s as if they are enthralled with the baseline although they are playing doubles.  There is no serve and volley except me.

The wild thing is it is just as competitive as a Grand Slam Final with lesser mental performance skills and tennis skills.  Since I can help their mental performance skills, I do and they’ve wised up and some take lessons on tennis technique (how to hit the ball better).  They haven’t wised up yet to take mental performance coaching lessons.

While playing “my coach” (I call one of them that).  He tells me to “play with better players” and is very hard to please.  I can hit ten “nice” or “good” shots and he’ll point out the three I didn’t hit well.  He compares me to professional players like Federer and Nadal.  I’m honored by the comparison as he does know what he’s talking about when I’m not consistent or don’t move into the right position.  He says, “I watch them on T.V. and at live tournaments”.  Obviously, I’m not as robust of a tennis player as the pros.

Recently, we were closing out a match and he was telling me not to do this and that.  I called a mental performance skills coaching timeout.  I said, “all this negativity isn’t helping us”.  How about saying, “finish the match” or “see the ball”.  A week later we were in a similar situation, and he was encouraging and motivating and for a long period silent. After we won, he actually complimented me with “good”.  Wow!  Then he said “you need to win a Grand Slam”.  I wish he was around sooner in my tennis life.

I gave him an autographed copy of my Your Raise The Bar Primer: Mental Performance Skills workbook.   He looked at it and said “that takes commitment”.  My response, you can stay at status quo and go through the motions week after week or have fun and win more.  Which do you want?  My coach has been working on it.  I already see a difference in his ability on the court.  If you need cabinets installed that’s my coach’s real job.

Yes, I do need to play with better players but I enjoy playing with all levels and at the recreational level I’m able to work on shots that I’m not able to do so against better-skilled players without first honing it.  Some of the guys played in high school and one in college so it’s not as if they are beginners.

For those who still are working on technique, here are six videos to watch showing the legendary, Andre Agassi.  I myself am hitting better volleys, overheads, and serves after watching.  Remember, you also need to work on bettering your mental performance skills.  The combination helps you win playing better tennis.

“Children are wonderfully confident in their own imaginations.
Most of us lose this confidence as we grow up.” – 
Sir Ken Robinson

For programs and services, contact Raj at 864.569.2315 or raj@rajgavurla.com, LiiiVEN.