Exercise Your Right of Free Choice and Will (on the Tennis Court)

Here a ten ways to take control of your life on the tennis court and to never again succumb to the whims and dictates of an unrelenting opponent.

  1. Establish an overall game plan (strategic vision) with contingency options for each match.
  2. Have a purpose (a specific plan) for the start of each point.  Map out the first two shots for each point and you gain much better control over the process and outcome (successful or not with your execution).  Without a plan, the tendency is to be more reactive and defensive.
  3. Maintain your composure and never let your opponent(s) get into your head or cause you to veer from your purpose and objectives.
  4. Control the tempo and timing between points (particularly with your service games).  Do not allow your opponent(s) to pressure you to play at a pace of play not to your advantage.
  5. Get in the best possible playing shape (physical condition) to do the things you want to do on the court for the full duration of every match.
  6. Control the pace and rhythm of the rally to your playing advantage for each point sequence.  Shorten or extend the length of the rally and give yourself and your opponent(s) less or more time between shots by taking off or adding pace to the ball, raising or lowering your net clearance, adding or taking away spin (both backspin and topspin), adjusting your position on the court (particularly as it relates to your position to the baseline), varying your direction/redirection patterns and adjusting your trajectory and
  7. Systematically work on your game to better manage the control variables of pace, spin, direction, depth, net clearance and trajectory particularly if you’re not able to effectively and consistently control the tempo of the rally (as noted above).
  8. Maintain a minimum level of consistency to create opportunities to execute your game plan (and to put yourself in a position to exercise free choice and will).  You need to minimize unforced errors and get into the point to make things happen.  The focus should be on the first serve and return.  Then look to end the point on a set number of shots as established by your risk/reward style of play and game plan.
  9. Don’t panic and never give up.  No matter what the score, you still maintain control of the process by working hard to the bitter end.  Give up or resign yourself to a negative outcome and you relinquish any kind of choice or control of the process.
  10. Have fun and enjoy the process of play and competition.

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