The vision of many coaches has shifted towards training for a more powerful and aggressive game with less room for error, less consistent tactics with an emphasis on completing the point within the first three or four shots.
On paper everything sounds good and seems possible, but when it comes to building competitive players, educating them under this vision is as unreal as it is detrimental to the player’s mental health. Under this motto, anxious and weak-headed individuals are built, whose fragility will surface in situations of pressure or adversity.
Tennis is a game of percentages and in its pure simplicity, the one with the lowest percentage of errors wins. Consistency is the main pillar of the game. Being constant is equal to trusting oneself, if you are not wrong, there is no reason to repent.
Tennis psychology must begin with coaches adapting drills that nurture a player’s main ally: patience. We live in times where patience has been replaced by immediacy: having everything immediately, by winning fast, the winner is seen as an elegant solution that makes everyone praise the player.
So much so, that being consistent is diminished. It is also that the refrain, «He beat me by shooting balloons» has become the main excuse for weak-minded players. What does consistency really mean? It’s not just putting the ball in.
It is also about having control of the ball, the swing, the body and your mind that you have to program and train to bring each ball to life. Watch a Roland Garros match and see the perfect demonstration of brutal control of all your skills during streaks of more than 9 balls at impressive speed.
The good ones have settled on the principle of not making mistakes, and over time they are improving their tactics and gaining strength to adapt to today’s violent game. We agree that tennis is more complex and that over time the game has become more aggressive.
The key is to hit the ball very hard, with good height over the net, with a good margin away from the lines and run all the balls as if your life depended on this training.