Why You Should Never Be Intimidated By Your Opponent's Talent
One of the toughest things to deal with mentally can be when you are hitting up with your opponent before a match, and they are showing you an absolutely awesomely wide repertoire or arsenal of shots that they possess!
Some opponents during the hitup - rather than hitting their groundstrokes within your general range when you are at the net - will prefer to display to you their acutely angles passing shots, topspin lobs or flat-out blasts of power - purely as an intimidation tactic!
When this happens however (and it will happen), never, ever be worried about this - this does not mean you are going to lose the match.
The flair and talent your opponent displays in this very low-pressure environment of the hitup will count for absolutely nothing - once they are forced to try and hit these shots under the true pressure of a match.
Tennis history is scattered with countless sad stories of incredibly talented and hugely gifted players who never managed to take full advantage of this enormous talent - often because they relied too much on their talent and simply did not work as hard, or become as mentally tough, as the less-talented players.
Talent alone these days simply doesn't cut it anymore - they have to put in the work as well (physically and mentally). So if you've put in the work, you have nothing to worry about.
And so even if you feel that your opponent has more shots, flair and touch than you do, don't worry - there are still many ways for you to win. If you're fit enough, you can always outlast them, and if you're mentally tough enough, you will relentlessly wear them down. Talent alone is not enough - always remember this.
Sure - these ultra-talents often begin their matches with a flurry of huge winners and aces - but it's not a case of what your opponent can do in the match, it's a case of "how long can they continue to do it?".
Often the answer is: not long enough! The longer you stay in the match, and the more you can continue to (at least) remain even with them score-wise at the beginning of the first set (and withstand the initial onslaught) - the better your chances of running out a routine 6-4 6-1 win.
The key is - never to begin the match feeling intimidated by their sheer talent, power, speed, spin, or whatever - the truly important thing will be what they can bring out when under pressure.
This is so very, very important to never forget:
* Talent (alone) is not enough!
* Talent + Hard work + Mental strength = Ultimate Success!
OK - now there is no longer any reason why you cannot succeed - so go out there and show them how it's done.
"The Mind controls the body, and the Mind is Unlimited"
The best of success, Craig Townsend
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