I have my first match tomorrow, and I wanted to know what some of you veterans do before a match to keep your nerves down and prepare for a match.
I put back a couple cold ones to take the edge off.
Web Crawler there is a similar post that had some tips for you. Here are the two main things I do.
I exercise with a light jog or stationary bike to warm up.
I visiulaize my shots. I rehearse in my mind the shots I want to make and my opponents possible responses. In my mind, I say to myself HIT BOUNCE HIT, this really helps with my timing. I pretend the opponent hit a variety of balls and spins and say this HIT BOUNCE HIT as I mediate on this. In the match I use the same HIT BOUNCE HIT.
I clear my mind of distractions and at times I will turn on some Van Halen to get myself pumped up.
Those are my main match preparation staples. I am sure others can provide more.
Depending on how much time you have before your match here
are some suggestions:
1)warm your body up (lifecycle,jumping jacks,jogging,rope) to
produce a light sweat on your face and stretch for a good 15-20
2)while you are stretching this is a great time to think about what
style you want to play and go over your strategy,tactics,and patterns you wish to implement to win points. Don't get too technical with your strokes but also briefly review each stroke and
visualize how you will hit them. The main focus should be on your
strategy and game plan to win the match.
3)If time allows(make the time if possible) warm up your strokes hitting all your shots,including the serve, and play a few
points. Warming up your shots is critical to find your timing for
the day of the match and to build confidence so you will get off to
a good start. If you can't find someone to hit with grab a bucket
of balls and warm your serve up and hit your various strokes by
simply dropping the ball in front and hit them. I find getting the
timing of my serve down for that day is critical to start my match
off confidently. If I have a good solid first serve game, this usually
will carry out throughout the entire match-I made it happen by
taking the time beforehand to warm it up.
4)As the match progresses to alleviate nerves and aid your play,
monitor your breathing between points and while you are hitting
the ball. When your nervous, your heart starts to rapidly beat and
your breathing becomes shallow-at this time take your time and
take several big deep breathes as you walk back towards the back
fence-this will relax you and slow your heart rate down. Expect this
to happen and when it does take control with several big, slow,deep breaths. Also, try to breath out everytime you hit the
ball and this will alleviate any tension and allow you to take a nice
full swing with maximum extension.
5)Eat a balance meal 2-4 hours before the match and be sure
to take both water and gatorade with you. If you play a tough
3 set match you don't want your glycogen stores to be depleted.
If I told you that you were going to have a bench press contest with a baby pig, which someone painted blue, and strapped a rubber birds beak to the snout. Would you be intimidated? Now, go get that pig tomorrow! Bring home the bacon. :)
Thanks everyone for the insight but Bill I have to say a Big Thank You to you. I was playing a exhibition match between another local highschool, and this was a match that came down to the wire. We were only playing One set and it came down to a tie break. I believe the score was 6-4 me and it was his serve. He had me rattled abit after he hit my forehand that I thought he wouldn't be able to get back at me. I took your advice of visualizing my shots and realized that he is playing deep, as most of my forehands have topspin and end up deep in the court. It was his serve and immediately I saw that he was staying behind the baseline so I hit a soft forehand just so it would go over and just like I pictured he was too deep to get to it. I have now jumped from the 6th sport to the 5th spot thanks to your help. And thanks again to everyone for the help.
I must say - allright! Good going! Very happy about your results. Now you can use what pros use to help themselves.
Had my first High School Match today and even though I lost 6-2 and 6-1 the others team coach said I was phenomenal for only have been playing 3 weeks. I have a question though. The Big reason why I lost this match was because of my opponents technique. All of his shots were backspin. I mean everyone of them forehand, backhand, serve, ect. The ones where he did hit it either flat or topspin I got those easy. But I haven't seen anyone play like this before and I was wondering how do you counter this. Our team lost the match because every player except their Number 1 guy used Backspin through out the whole match and we never played like this.
Here is what I do with someone with backspin. This is going to be more effective in high school then it would as you move up the ladder in your rating and play better and better players.
But my strategy is always the same just may require a little more patience playing against someone with a good slice.
The slicer has a tendency to either float long or leave the ball short in the court. I play a friend of mine with an excellent slice - I mean an excellent slice. However, he has a tendency to hit it short. I am always ready to move in to take that ball as an approach shot. The approach shot is sliced right back to his backhand as he will probably slice again and the ball will be coming up. A volleyers dream. ;)
When he realizes that his slice is being handled and it is know longer a weapon. I pump my fist up and shout, COME ON!!!!! Just kidding!
Also, I will serve 90% of my serves to his backhand slice. It provides me with a lot of time to get in and volley the ball.
The shot you hit in a rally especially since your learning fundamentals, is to return a slice with a slice. YOu can also learn about Wardlaws Directionals so you know hoa to play the percentage shot.
Also, the slice shot is a feel shot, so be sure to mix up your speeds, spins, hieghts and depths of your shots. You might find he has a great slice at waist level but leaves the ball short if he has to hit the ball shoulder high and above.
As I said in a similar thread a couple years ago, there's no pre-match preparation that beats taking a good dump. After that, I am STOKED to play.
Thanks once again Bill, we will play them again in 3 weeks so I should have plenty of time to practice the slice and moving in so I can get the easy volleys.
When we go to the tracks at Del Mar, I alway bet on the horse that takes a dump before the race starts.
Does this system work at Hollywood Park or Santa Anita?
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