The first four balls are close combat: the serve, the return, the 3rd ball, and 4th ball.
Close combat accentuates both the upside and downside of a situation. For example, a good volley can finish a point while a bad volley can lose it. The point will end either way.
That's why they call it a one-two punch. A serve and 3rd ball or return and 4th ball will dictate how the point ends. Once a 5th ball is established, the point becomes far more structured like playing a point off a drop feed where you'd have to construct the point. Know your strengths and weaknesses to determine whether you'll do more damage in close combat or a structured scenario.
No matter how great the coach... all a coach can give you is a blueprint to execute on. The player has still has to put in the hard yards and make it happen.
Love the camera angle for Miami... can actually see the players. Still waiting for the day when court level tennis is televised. Tennis is so much more beautiful in 3D than 2D
It's interesting when players yell, scream, and get emotional.
It happens even more so in a team environment like college tennis, where there's a social element to impress your teammates - to appear as if you're trying really hard or that you care. I find it strange and misunderstood.
Roger and Rafa don't obnoxiously scream or pout... I'm sure they'd do it if they found it beneficial, but nobody questions Roger's effort if he's stoic after a loss.
Instead of wasting energy in senseless emotion, they focus all their energy into playing great tennis. Not to say Roger and Rafa won't reward themselves with a fist pump, but it's genuinely felt emotion and not a front to cover up an insecurity.
Trusting your shot... walking across a balance beam a foot high is no problem right?
Raise the beam 50 ft in the air and you'll start trembling and second guessing yourself because now there's a serious consequence for failing. Remember that pressure is just an illusion.
What's the worst that can happen if you lose a tennis match..?
The consequences only have as much significance as you give it.
So when players are having trouble translating their level of play from practice to a pressure situation, they need to remember it's the same balance beam. Hit or miss... you've got to trust your shot.
Tennis is an impromptu exercise. You never know what's going to happen because the dynamic of the match changes with each opponent. It's also hard to predict because your opponent will make an adjustment to every adjustment you make.
Yes, there are general rules and guidelines, and yes, there may be general objectives you're trying to achieve strategically. But much like impromptu public speaking, where you wouldn't worry about exact words or phrases, don't worry about an exact shot or situation during a point.
Know the end goal of what you're trying to accomplish, and like a public speaker who doesn't sound scripted and speaks from the heart, let your energy flow and your natural instincts guide you.
It's human nature to look for the easy answer. Is it the racquet, the strings, the string tension...?
There are no silver bullets in tennis. It's 98% player, 2% equipment.
There's nothing you can do to change overnight... it's what you are over what you do. Build strong over time!!
As a coach, you should not make the decision for the player.
You should sell the player on why a decision may be good or bad, and allow the player to come to their own realization and make that decision for themselves.
That's how you gain commitment, avoid conflict, and create lasting change.
It's so fundamental... but most players don't hit their split step on time during transition volleys.
It's hard to tell in real time but in slow motion there's a big difference between hitting a split (meaning your feet hit the ground) when your opponent makes contact with the ball and being suspended in the air when your opponent makes contact with the ball... time is oh so precious
Rafa takes a cold shower before every match... it's good in so many ways...
It stimulates your metabolism, the shivering is your muscles twitching to generate heat. You might temporarily hyperventilate but the deep breathing opens and expands your lungs. Your mind also is prepped for uncomfortable situations...
People who take cold showers have a higher concentration of white blood cells, which means a stronger immune system. Take a look at the Wim Hof method... there's got to be some mental toughness if you're able to do that routine
Nadal was probably fuming inside but keeps his composure regardless like a true professional... body language... don't try to change your body language; change your thought process... focus on the right things and the body language will follow