Perfection vs being ambitious

That’s two different things. For me, being ambitious in tennis, means to be motivated to reach the level up and bringing some improvements in your games. Also, It means to have time to practise and experience something different to increase the number of options.

– Try something different to reveal my potential.
Most of the time, the player behaves in the same way because he is reproducing the same schemes. In consequence he is choosing the same choice and employ a quite similar technic. He think that by practising more and more he will improve. He won’t. That keeps him in his comfort zone and this behaviour won’t be productive. Because he doesn’t want to try something new he will convince himself that he is not able to do that. At the end result, he is increasing this feeling of fear and won’t be competitive.

 

The quantity is not the quality.
If you are saying to yourself that you need to play more to gain self-confidence, because you repeat the same motion over and over again, you are wrong. Just calculate this : +5 + (-5) = 0. Strong points + weak points = 0. Even if you increase your strong points, your weak points are still there. In fact you compensate. Starting from your strong points to improve is justified. Just use it to shine the light on your weak points, instead of hiding from it.

Be a witness to the situation
In the method howtoplayyourbestennis we try to be witness of ourselves as much as possible. It means to be aware of our zones of tension (where are they ? In my elbow ? My bottom ? My hand ? Do I breath properly ? How is the sound of the impact ? Do I feel the vibration in my hand ? In other words it is the ability to feel as comfortable as possible during play and are able to use (and shape) your senses.

See clearly, Define the real goal for you.
Having a clear objective makes the difference between quantity and the quality. If the goal is appropriate and achievable it would keep you motivated and you will bring sense in your practice. A goal is a dream with a deadline. As soon as you behave without being conscious on your goal, you improve because you built a new behaviour.
For example, in defence, you need to get back into neutral situation before trying to attack. If you try to counter-attack every time to look strong, you are wrong. The percentage of success will be too low in the whole match because your choice is too difficult. You might be able to impress your opponent with a hot shot but the ratio will be around 3/10. 7 times you will miss. Be efficient, not beautiful.

Action and intuition
Do you think a player has time to think about their technic while they are playing? No..
They use their intuition because during play they don’t have time to think. During the match it’s only the choices and the physical intensity that count. This ends up being a more reliable and enjoyable way to play. Staying in the action, living in the present moment is more important that trying to play with a beautiful technique.

Quality of focus
I recommend that you play for one hour and keep the highest intensity focus possible for the whole practice. Don’t forget to take some breaks (as you would in a match). Emulate the real match conditions as close as possible. This will be more productive than just hitting the ball without a target. Don’t play the ball if it goes out as most people do. In a match you spend more time repositioning between the points rather than playing points. So that’s why it will be important to simulate this situation during training.

Also it’s the ability to be able to maintain a high level of technique. I encourage you first to play slowly in a short distance. For example, reach the centre line of the service box or the service line from further out. If you have a target for every single shot, you will already be improving.

Perfection vs improvement
To come back to what I said before about perfection,  an object can be perfect but not an human because compared to an object, the human can still improve himself at anytime. The object is finished. So even Federer is not perfect.

Tennis is meditation.
If I need to trust myself to gain self confidence and to be able to be aware of what is most important for me at this moment, I conclude that tennis is meditation. As for the human body, I have to accept that nothing can be perfect. Because the situation is in a constant state of evolution. Overall, I need to have enough self-control to be technically reliable during the match and able to adjust the intensity level accordingly.

In the method howtoplayyourbestennis.com I’ll teach you how to walk step by step to reach your best level in a match. (If you want).

See you soon.

Mathieu

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