Levels of Competing

13 November 2012 // Posted By: Hobson Performance Tennis

During the course of a player’s career, they will have to go through a number of mental levels. It is important to let players experience all of these levels so that they can handle the mental and emotional pressures these different roles create.   1 – Underdog: Easiest to play from here – no pressure, relaxed and swinging freely.  If you are all ways playing up an age group you never experience the mental pressure of playing from # 3 and 4.  Low chance of success as unfamiliar with leading and uncomfortable.   2 – 50-50: Starting to win more and compete at a better level. Player thinks he is good enough to win. Low to medium pressure.  Usually has fast starts in matches but doesn’t hold up if momentum swings against him. …More

Stages of a Match

09 October 2012 // Posted By: Hobson Performance Tennis

The Stages of a Match Understanding how a match progresses and adapting to events is crucial to being a consistent winner. The following gives guidelines on how tio approach the match at different stages. First 4-6 games: – good footwork and fast racket early, get into a rhythm by making a lot of balls, establish basic strategy, lock in your game style and work out your opponent’s weaknesses. You can’t do this if you are making a ton of errors. Creating Distance:  By going up a break, and holding the break. Don’t get anxious about going up and leading – “scoreboard mentality”.  Realize your opponent is going to play better now too as he is down and he has to play better. Be assertive and stubborn not to give up the lead – make your opponent work very hard here. …More

The Third-Set Tie-Break, by Chuck Kriese

16 August 2012 // Posted By: Hobson Performance Tennis

View from the Chair Not So Super: The Third-Set Tie-Breaker by Chuck Kriese, 10 August 2012 At junior tournaments throughout the country, it has become common to use so-called ‘Super Tie-Breakers’ (STBs) instead of playing out third sets. These tie-breakers are being used in spite of disapproval from players, coaches and parents.Chuck Kriese, JTCC Senior Director of Competition and Coaching “It teaches our players some very bad habits about competition,” says Frank Salazar, the 2009 USOC National coach of the year. “The biggest problem is that it does not instill the qualities of what competition is really all about – most importantly, perseverance! Perhaps this has contributed to why very few young Americans are surfacing in tennis on the world scene. We are the only country in the world that uses this system, …More

The Aggressive Margin

24 January 2011 // Posted By: Hobson Performance Tennis

Two key statistics that are required to really understand match outcomes: the Forced Error/Winner and the Unforced Error. Let’s review what they are and why they are so important in understanding matches. A Forced Error is an error that stems from pressure created by the other player’s ball. This is different from the more familiar concept of the Unforced Error. An Unforced Error is a mistake that a player makes on an easy or routine ball—the error stems from the player’s inability to execute what should be a simple stroke or return. A player generates a Forced Error through pace or location, or a combination of both, say for example, a deep, high velocity crosscourt forehand. The other player reaches the ball on the run and takes something resembling a normal swing, …More

Character – The Foundation of Excellence

11 May 2010 // Posted By: Hobson Performance Tennis

On any given day, a player is asked to study, practice, compete, and train with great effort and concentration in order to fulfill his or her potential. Rarely do we take time to think about how developing and understanding our character traits influence performances on the court. Parents, teachers, coaches and the player’s environment shape these traits. Motivation – The “fire in one’s belly” is the most important characteristic at the start of any endeavor. When players say they are “burned out” – my reply is always that they were never really “on fire”. Commitment – Few will argue that being a successful tennis player requires a player to commit to hard work and intense concentration. At times the journey towards excellence requires sacrifices and difficult choices. A player of high commitment and discipline often “takes the road less traveled” …More

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