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What Kind of Tennis Learner are You

There are several types of learners but there are two that stand out in my mind because they are the opposite pole of each other:.- The ones you teach over and over and over and never learn!.- The ones you teach once and you will never need to repeat yourself ever again! They've learned.A few years back I was having a tennis camp with a group of young boys and girls and together we were reviewing a few pointers that we had been practicing over the last 2 weeks.

As I went through the group I realized that the one with the best understanding of the whole issue , the one that had thoroughly studied the subject and actually knew how to apply it, was a tiny 8 year old girl!.While the 10, 12 and 14 year olds got their tongues tied at every question I made, to their embarrassment, the little one sitting right in the front row with these great big scintillating eyes and a bright smile, would lift her tiny left index finger almost jumping of her seat and joyfully say:.- I know! I know! I know!.

And yes she did know, in addition she was able to make an exposé of my previous teachings with her own practical examples and observations. What a delight!.Surely she had been listening! Deep inside I was totally in love with the little munchkin, literally amazed at her power of retention not to mention her sponge-like absorption, but I sort of had to slow her down a bit for her own sake, for I could see the annoyed faces of the older ones. Maybe would they do something to her later? o:).It did not take me long to figure out why she was so good!.

- She was bright.- She was the youngest one, the taste of defeat and self doubt had not entered her realm.- She had an insatiable desire to drink from the fountain of learning.- Her big round eyes were as large as oceans filled with curiosity, fantasy and dreams.- She was a breath of fresh air in our world-full of cynics and nay Sayers.- The little finger pointing up, indicated to me how the sky was not the limit!.

- She was excited about the game of tennis!.What can we learn from that little girl?.Forget about past defeat, there are always new and exciting challenges to overcome! Be a child again; dream big, be limitlessly curious, be insatiable in your thirst for knowledge! Take every tennis lesson, practice or match with endless enthusiasm, unbridled joy and excitement.

Listen to your instructor. Learn, learn, learn.And.oh! I forgot to tell you about what the little girl knew so well and that was:."Dr.

Jim E. Loehr's 12 Tips of Mental Toughness:.Eye Control -
Focus your eyes on either your racquet or the ground to keep your attention focused between points.

Rituals -
Establish rituals between and before points to appropriately balance relaxation, focus and intensity prior to starting each point.Winning Pace -
Pace yourself between points especially when angry, nervous, or fatigued to allow yourself to gain control of pulse rate and to remain focused.Breathing -
Practice deep breathing habits between points to help relax and lower pulse rate.

Breathe out at contact when hitting the ball to get better control, relaxation and feel.High Positive Intensity -
Even when very fatigued or when you feel negative, project the image of having a high level of Positive Intensity.Calmness and Relaxation -
When nervous and tense, try to project yourself, so being relaxed and calm.Mistake Management -
When you make a mistake, learn to just turn and walk away from it. Don't lose your composure. "let it go".

Confident Fighter Image -
No Matter how bad it gets, project the image that you are confident and will fight to the end.Negative Self-Talk -
Avoid expressing Negative Self-Talk during play. It only fosters bad results and pumps up your opponent.Positive Attitude -
Think positively about your situation in the face of adversity.

Become challenged."I Love The Battle" -
Don't appear scared or threatened when things get tough; project a challenged and winning appearance at all times.Racquet Up - "I'm Up" -
Carry your racquet in the opposite hand and keep it up, not dragging it low, as a symbol that when my racquet is up, I'm up.

The above list is taken from Dr. Loehr's videotape entitled.Mental Toughness Training For Sports, Stephen Greene Press, 1986.".Have true fun playing "The Game". Yours, Sérgio.

Copyright © 1999-2006 Tenniscruz.com®. All rights reserved.

.Sérgio Cruz is an ex # 1 National Champion, Davis Cup Player from Portugal and former Coach Jim Courier ATP World Ranking # 1.cruz@tenniscruz.



By: Sergio Cruz

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