How to know if I am about to play well

I find that when I bounce the ball in the warm up, if my bouncing rhythm is on point then I usually play well, however if the ball feels heavy and my timing isn't there I tend to not play so well.

Any advice?
that is where experience really comes into play. "ok my usual playstyle of hitting it flat and hard is not working.. it keeps going long or into the net... time to switch it up before the scores to uneven"

you can maybe stick to your usual playstyle and hope it comes together.. hope...

or have a backup plan and start really swinging low to high fast for net clearance and for the ball to stay in the court..

is like when your "in the zone" you can do anything. but you can't always be in the zone.. you gotta be able to find a way to win without relying on yourself being in perfect playing condition.

"i usually can ace all my serves but now i am double faulting constantly"
maybe just focus on setting up the next shot with your serve and not trying to win the point via a serve.

don't want to leave to lengthy of a reply if what i said is not what you're after.

maybe some more experienced posters can share advice :)


You can't wait to play and your footwork is lively is a good sign. Fear, nervousness or dreading to play makes your feet slow and sluggish. If you are tight and nervous, think happy feet and exaggerate the movements and your strokes should come back.

People tend to blame their strokes for breaking down but in actuality their feet stopped moving to set up properly to hit effectively. I see a lot of people shadow stroke in a middle of a match but not even giving footwork a second thought.
Last edited:
I also find that when I wake up, sometimes my racket feels clunky and heavy and I play bad, but sometimes my racket feels light and easy, then I know I'm going to play good.


Bionic Poster
You will never know how qell you will play.
All you can control is your preparation and your routine, the rest is a crapshoot.
To think otherwise only means you are a newbie.
I find that if i get up in the morning on the right side of my bed, and if my coffee tastes a bit bitter compared to normal, and if my bacon is burnt, then i usually don't play well.
LeeD is absolutely right. Your opponents have a lot to say about how well you will play. You could play well and be demolished because your opponent plays better. The inverse is also very true. You could play like crap, but your opponent has a bad day-in-the-office or has a hangover.
Federer once said he has no idea how he's going to play. He could have a great warmup and then play awful but just as often play great after an awful warmup. He could play poor when feeling confident or play great when lacking confidence. Even he can't work it out.
I find that if i get up in the morning on the right side of my bed, and if my coffee tastes a bit bitter compared to normal, and if my bacon is burnt, then i usually don't play well.
Ha ha. Honestly I have found there is no indicator as to how I will play. I have played my best tennis sometimes on nights when I was tired and really didn’t feel like playing. I’ve also played poorly on nights when I thought going in that I was going to be dangerous.
My warm up hitting means absolutely nothing and if I hit badly I don’t get stressed out and if I hit well I don’t get excited.

I’ve done so much losing I never expect to win but go out with the goal of making my opponent work hard for every point. Sometimes I still get killed and sometimes I look up and realize my opponent is the one getting frustrated because I keep winning the close games. Tennis scoring is designed to force you to go full speed from beginning to end and to do it over and over again. It’s an incredible mental discipline and part of the reason I love to play it.
The better you are, the clearer you know about your performance.

That's what skills and confidence means. Athletes or teams don't usually go out and compete blindly and think/believe it's crapshoot. Being tentative is never good in sports.

Good sports players know this. Good analysts know this. Fans know this. For example, most people knew the Patriot would beat the Rams. Nadal would win or at least go very very deep in the FO. You're a newbie if you don't know any of this.