For some reason, 4 is my favourite number. - Roger So (Rovo Intern)
The ability to endure three sets (not to mention five matches), in the face of physical exhaustion and the ups and downs of your emotional state, is one not there for billions of other more ordinary human beings. However, we are talking mainly about the mental form here. Its not just the number of sets and points to be attained to finish the match, that requires substantial enduring, but the un-quantifiable periods of mental strain in and between points. The moderately fast pace of the ball (relative to the other racket sports) means that one is not forced to be completely reactive in the midst of playing the point. This greater room for more deliberativeness means pressure or any form of over-thinking naturally seeps in. All players need to deal with this, and even those most professionally trained to put such feelings under control not too uncommonly suffer from such. The relative long breaks between points also creates the same effect. I myself, a former competitive tennis player, had experienced such effects and learnt from such that the true way to mitigate such pressures is to be thoroughly resilient, by focusing your energy on nothing else but the goal ahead.
No matter the skills and trick shots available which could shift the odds of winning a tennis match in your favour, tennis is still in its essence a very physical sport. You need to be holistically healthy, with developed cardiovascular and muscular systems that would allow you to cover the court for hours on end while hitting back shots the strength of which do not waver as the hours go. The best performing professional tennis players are known to also be the fittest. Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal are both deemed to be the two fittest ATP players on tour, and not too coincidentally, both are ranked consistently within the top 4. Aside from the above mentioned ability to generate power, strength training can improve your ball control, as proper stroke mechanics can be more easily learned if the muscles and joints are well-conditioned. Injury prevention is another boon from stronger muscles. Tennis has become more dominated by longer baseline rallies involving a lot of corner to corner movement, and the hips and legs have also become subject to more and more stress. Stronger muscles around the joints provide greater stability and resilience against the high impact that is involved with hitting the ball as well as the constant start and stop motions on the court.
Tennis is not an entirely physical sport, in the sense that you cannot muscle your way through like how you would compete in a 100 metre dash or lift weights. There is a lot of calculation needed (although such moments may seem instant, tennis players are trained to make decisions within very short spans of time), to deliver a series of shots that would lead to a point being earned. The accent is on the word 'series', and each point played is a series of individual points each built on the other, the missing of one would make the whole series unviable. Such deliberation requires a certain level of calm, or what the Rovo team calls zen. In the words of our intern Roger, its sort of like the state of mind required for the drawing of a decent painting. The greatest of all time in the sport, excels at this sort of deliberation, and it is perhaps no coincidence that his shotmaking abilities are second-to-none. So if you want to win more matches, focus, and treat each point with the utmost devotion and attention.
To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality. - Anita Roddick
What we deem as the most important skill listed here is the one underpinning all the others. Cliche, but one will not truly excel at something without being passionate about it. We believe that the biggest and most effective source of intrinsic motivation there will ever be is passion. People often understand that one cannot succeed without the strong inner desire to become better at something every single day or moment if possible. What most people do not understand is that such desire would not last long without being underpinned by passion. Pete Sampras very clearly understood this when he retired in the wake of his 2002 US Open championship victory, claiming that he didn't feel it anymore.
What do you believe is the most important quality for success in tennis matches. Feel free to chat us up on Facebook chat, we are absolutely open to all and anything!
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