Monday, May 30, 2016

Tennis Competition and what it means to compete

Tennis is a competitive sport, and for most of us, the goal of playing is to win.  To do that, one must prepare, mentally, physically, and Psychologically.  There are home teams and there are opposing team, or visiting teams.

Quoting, the English poet and writer, Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861: "Though shall not covet; but tradition approves all forms of competition."  And isn't competition all about winning, if not to win why compete?

Whether you're one of the William Sisters, or one of the Bryan Brothers, it's important that when competing, for that minute period in time, your opponent, he or she, is not your friend, and they should be treated as such within the boundary of the rules of the sport in which you are engaged.

There is seldom, if any friendly bantering between two Prize Fighters in the Boxing Ring or on the National Football League Field among the coaches of the Harbaugh Brothers, or the UFC Cages, or Mixed Martial Arts fights.

Many tennis players think the way to make the game more competitive, is to continue to trade partners, until you find a winning combination during a match.  This is silly, if not stupid if you're trying to improve your game.

If a team gets beat, they should take the beating, thank their opponents and mentally think about what must be done to be more competitive the next time.  That might consist of more practice before the match, maybe a new strategy, or a new stroke in your arsenal.  Maybe an evaluation of your stroke production by a knowledgeable instructor.  You never can tell.

According to one of my many instructional books on Tennis the writer suggests: "...Your own game would be sounder if you knew how the game should be played, and why."  And he continues, "You never improve your aim if you don't have a target to shot at."

Players should not compete if they are not up to the competition physically.  They are doing themselves, their opponents, and their partner a disservice, in addition to prolonging their condition.

In a Tennis match, it has been determined that the serving team has a distinct advantage to winning.  Therefore, when starting your match, make sure your decision not to serve first is not one of pure superstition, or because you are not physically warmed up, and prepared to play.  This puts your team at a disadvantage as well.

For example, if one of you were left handed, it would give your team the advantage of neither player having to serve facing into the Sun.  Of course, if you are not warmed up enough to serve, even because of a prior injury, it's possible to loosen up even more during the warm-up.  First, by using your service motion to put the ball into play rather than dropping it and hitting a courtesy stroke.  Secondly, you might even report 5-10 minutes earlier before you match just to stretch, and to get in some serving practice on your own.

There are players who are just superstitious about being the first server; they are not player, they are player "wannabes," because in Boxing, when the bell rings, you come out fighting to win.

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