What it takes to Win?

Ash_Smith

Legend
So, the other week I presented at a coaches conference to give some insight to a group of coaches into our World Class Performance Programme. One of the topics that came up was our "What It Takes To Win" model.

For reference a "WITTW" model is something all UK Sport funded sports are required to produce as part of their 4 year funding bids and and are to detail the elements required to win in the particular sport and how the sport will address them.

For some sports creating this document is quite straight forward. In Rowing for example, you have historical data on the winning times for the Mens 4 so you can predict ahead, from there you know what power output each rower must sustain for how long and for how many strokes per minute and you know minimum reaction time required in order to reach a Gold medal time.

In tennis defining "What It Takes To Win" isn't so straightforward - the physical, mental, technical and tactical demands are so varied.

So, if you had to write such a document for tennis (which potentially has millions of £'s riding on it), what would you include?
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
I imagine it would be like a football combine test:
* 4x400m run (or 1M run) times (testing power/endurance)
* "star drill" (testing agility, start/stop times, change of direction, etc...)
* speed/accuracy of all shots at a target
* repeat 3x
In general we're just trying to identify the minimum tangibles that can be measured... then the intangibles left are mental fortitude, tactial/strategic intelligence, heart, etc...
 

Ash_Smith

Legend
^^^ That's more like a "talent identification/selection" test. Ability to run 400m does not necessarily correlate to winning tennis matches.

Your sentence starting "the intangibles..." is closer to the mark, but needs fleshing out much more... :)
 

kiteboard

Banned
Can you play better when you are down? Can you flip the switch? Do you have the reps/practice/training to allow that? Have you received mentor help that will allow that? Do you have the right equipment for your game? Are the strings right for the opponent and surface? Can you control your emotions and desire level so that it can happen? Can you affect your desire so that it has a good effect on your will to flip? Are you fit enough for it? Are you invulnerable to psych? Can you psych your opponent? Are you fast enough to plant sideways on all ground strokes including transition shots> ie, forward planting will limit torso coil and uncoil. Can you make your first serves and returns while coming back?

You have to find something that takes them out of balance, jam their body/and or mind. Some pattern or tactic that they don't like and that makes them lose. Etc.
 
Last edited:

sureshs

Bionic Poster
If winning means consistently winning, then we can see a huge drop from the top 4 or 5 (Fed, Nads, Djoker, Murray, Stan) to the rest. So what is special about them? For Fed and Nadal, it was talent. For the rest, mental strength, hard work, grinding power, and a desire to be the best.
 

RetroSpin

Hall of Fame
In tennis defining "What It Takes To Win" isn't so straightforward - the physical, mental, technical and tactical demands are so varied.
I'm not sure I agree. it is pretty simple to construct a statistical correlation of various performance metrics and winning percentage. As I recall, the top correlation is to second serve win percentage. The point is, you isolate the metrics that separate the top guys from the rest.

Isolating mental factors is more difficult because you can never really know what is going on inside a player's head. We can however come up with a number of attributes that seem associated with winning.

If this kind of exercise is what determines your funding, I feel for you.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I guess ability to tolerate boredom would be high on the list. Not only are spectators bored and TV executives furious (look at all the new proposed format changes), tennis is also a boring sport to play after about a set. To be a champion, the ability to do the same thing over and over again without feeling suffocated or having the mind wander all over the place is a prime requirement.
 

Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
So, the other week I presented at a coaches conference to give some insight to a group of coaches into our World Class Performance Programme. One of the topics that came up was our "What It Takes To Win" model.

For reference a "WITTW" model is something all UK Sport funded sports are required to produce as part of their 4 year funding bids and and are to detail the elements required to win in the particular sport and how the sport will address them.

For some sports creating this document is quite straight forward. In Rowing for example, you have historical data on the winning times for the Mens 4 so you can predict ahead, from there you know what power output each rower must sustain for how long and for how many strokes per minute and you know minimum reaction time required in order to reach a Gold medal time.

In tennis defining "What It Takes To Win" isn't so straightforward - the physical, mental, technical and tactical demands are so varied.

So, if you had to write such a document for tennis (which potentially has millions of £'s riding on it), what would you include?
Desire.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
So, the other week I presented at a coaches conference to give some insight to a group of coaches into our World Class Performance Programme. One of the topics that came up was our "What It Takes To Win" model.

For reference a "WITTW" model is something all UK Sport funded sports are required to produce as part of their 4 year funding bids and and are to detail the elements required to win in the particular sport and how the sport will address them.

For some sports creating this document is quite straight forward. In Rowing for example, you have historical data on the winning times for the Mens 4 so you can predict ahead, from there you know what power output each rower must sustain for how long and for how many strokes per minute and you know minimum reaction time required in order to reach a Gold medal time.

In tennis defining "What It Takes To Win" isn't so straightforward - the physical, mental, technical and tactical demands are so varied.

So, if you had to write such a document for tennis (which potentially has millions of £'s riding on it), what would you include?
OMG. And here I was respecting you Ash. It IS straightforward. WITTW is Pushing. DUH.
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
There's is plenty of data in tennis. Serving percentage, unforced errors to winners and break points.
You can also mine all the biographies and see if you can find common threads. I have read many.

You can also look at what went wrong. Sometimes I watch Verdasco in this fashion and, well, the mental side of things is huge and all great champions have a strong mind but that might not help YOU get funding.

The UK paid Brad Gilbert a large sum to coach Andy Murray, it came to nothing. Was his move to Lendl totally independent of the UK sporting associations and governmental bodies? I assume so.

Who paid for Murray to be at Sanchez Casal? You have a winning model in your midst, might as well use him.

For some sports creating this document is quite straight forward. In Rowing for example, you have historical data on the winning times for the Mens 4 so you can predict ahead, from there you know what power output each rower must sustain for how long and for how many strokes per minute and you know minimum reaction time required in order to reach a Gold medal time.
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
What it takes to win huh? Honestly it's the least measurable thing I would say, and that's big moment toughness. That's what makes out wins when margins are small. Tennis is one of the few games where you can win despite losing more points than you've won, if only you win the important points.

As to how this can be trained... I would say understanding the game in the form of set plays that one looks for in tight situations is a start. The less one has to actively think in a tough situation, the more mentally tough one can be. Relying on a game plan generally means less hesitation and frustration I find. Thus identifying and working on suitable set plays/game plans is what I would say. Working on technique and athletic ability is only the tool to execute plays.

Curious to hear what everybody else thinks.
 

r2473

Talk Tennis Guru
What it takes to win huh? Honestly it's the least measurable thing I would say, and that's big moment toughness. That's what makes out wins when margins are small. Tennis is one of the few games where you can win despite losing more points than you've won, if only you win the important points.

As to how this can be trained... I would say understanding the game in the form of set plays that one looks for in tight situations is a start. The less one has to actively think in a tough situation, the more mentally tough one can be. Relying on a game plan generally means less hesitation and frustration I find. Thus identifying and working on suitable set plays/game plans is what I would say. Working on technique and athletic ability is only the tool to execute plays.

Curious to hear what everybody else thinks.
Your answer is correct, but misses the point of the OP

So, if you had to write such a document for tennis (which potentially has millions of £'s riding on it), what would you include?
He's not asking what it takes to win. He's asking about writing a paper themed "what it takes to win" to a bureaucratic group in the hopes of getting money/funding.
There's is plenty of data in tennis. Serving percentage, unforced errors to winners and break points.
You can also mine all the biographies and see if you can find common threads.
This is the "correct" answer. It's "scientific", measurable, tangible, hard (as opposed to soft). Everything the intended audience wants to hear. This information will get the OP the money.

Is it the "right" answer? Ask yourself this. If we were to ask Federer what he did from 2001 Wimbledon when he beat Sampras (when he was just supremely talented, but not a "winner") to 2003 Wimbledon when he won his first Major and went on to dominate the sport for years, I doubt he'd talk about raising his serve percentage by X% or reducing his UE's by Y%, or increasing his break point conversion by Z%.

He'd talk about lots of "soft", intangible stuff. But, you can't put that "crap" in a paper. People are in love with the "scientific". Know your audience. Pander to them.
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
You are incorrect. Fed often discusses the importance of a high serve percentage. He talks about tangible things of which serving % is just one component.

I doubt he'd talk about raising his serve percentage by X% or reducing his UE's by Y%, or increasing his break point conversion by Z%.
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
Your answer is correct, but misses the point of the OP


He's not asking what it takes to win. He's asking about writing a paper themed "what it takes to win" to a bureaucratic group in the hopes of getting money/funding.

This is the "correct" answer. It's "scientific", measurable, tangible, hard (as opposed to soft). Everything the intended audience wants to hear. This information will get the OP the money.

Is it the "right" answer? Ask yourself this. If we were to ask Federer what he did from 2001 Wimbledon when he beat Sampras (when he was just supremely talented, but not a "winner") to 2003 Wimbledon when he won his first Major and went on to dominate the sport for years, I doubt he'd talk about raising his serve percentage by X% or reducing his UE's by Y%, or increasing his break point conversion by Z%.

He'd talk about lots of "soft", intangible stuff. But, you can't put that "crap" in a paper. People are in love with the "scientific". Know your audience. Pander to them.
I'm horrible at this bureaucratic garbage haha
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
r2473 is wrong. I have watched many interviews with pro players right after the match (not even in the presser) and found that they seem to remember with clarity the mistakes they made, when they took advantage of a lower first serve percentage of their opponent, when the opponent made a few unforced errors that gave them an opening, when they were waiting for Isner's serve to cool off a little, etc. Federer is actually a great example, because his self-analysis is very accurate and he himself says that he has a meta-awareness of the trends of the match as he plays it.
 

r2473

Talk Tennis Guru
You are incorrect. Fed often discusses the importance of a high serve percentage. He talks about tangible things of which serving % is just one component.
r2473 is wrong. I have watched many interviews with pro players right after the match (not even in the presser) and found that they seem to remember with clarity the mistakes they made, when they took advantage of a lower first serve percentage of their opponent, when the opponent made a few unforced errors that gave them an opening, when they were waiting for Isner's serve to cool off a little, etc. Federer is actually a great example, because his self-analysis is very accurate and he himself says that he has a meta-awareness of the trends of the match as he plays it.
It's even better than I thought. I'm very happy to hear this.

So, the OP can discuss all of these very tangible factors AND have the satisfaction of knowing that this IS (in truth) what it takes to be a winner.

In other words OP, it's just an easy data mining exercise. Even Federer agrees.
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
C'mon baconhead, read my whole initial post. Did you miss the part about all great champions having a strong mind?

I expect a snarky attempt at wit forthcoming. :eek:

It's even better than I thought. I'm very happy to hear this.

So, the OP can discuss all of these very tangible factors AND have the satisfaction of knowing that this IS what it takes to be a winner. In other words OP, it's just an easy data mining exercise.
 

r2473

Talk Tennis Guru
C'mon baconhead, read my whole initial post. Did you miss the part about all great champions having a strong mind?

I expect a snarky attempt at wit forthcoming. :eek:
So, how do you plan on presenting the "strong mind" in this paper?

SECTION 1: Winning is captured by statistics (here we talk about serve % and the like)

SECTION 2: Winning requires "a strong mind". What do we talk about? How are we going to develop this?
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
That's an excellent question. I would say you'd have to ask someone with a track record with champions. I know Lansdorp looks to see if his students like to compete. He mentioned Sharapova and, I believe, Tracy Austin both loved to compete & fight and weren't fearful of or spooked by the pressure.

You prolly won't get all the answers on a free messageboard but a few hints at best.

So, how do you plan on presenting the "strong mind" in this paper?

SECTION 1: Winning is captured by statistics (here we talk about serve % and the like)

SECTION 2: Winning requires "a strong mind". What do we talk about? How are we going to develop this?
 

WildVolley

Legend
^^^ That's more like a "talent identification/selection" test. Ability to run 400m does not necessarily correlate to winning tennis matches.
Are you really sure about this?

I'd guess at the top 100 level, you'd find that a bunch of "talent identification" test winners have been selected. There's a lot more to it, but I'd think that things like foot speed are being selected in the world-class players to a greater extent these days than perhaps in the past. Federer, Djokovic, Nadal, etc. are great movers. I doubt that the 400 meter run has much relevance, but I'd guess tests of the ability to quickly change direction over short distances is correlated with winning tennis.
 

r2473

Talk Tennis Guru
That's an excellent question. I would say you'd have to ask someone with a track record with champions. I know Lansdorp looks to see if his students like to compete. He mentioned Sharapova and, I believe, Tracy Austin both loved to compete & fight and weren't fearful of or spooked by the pressure.
Is this an innate skill or one that can be developed?

If it can be developed, how?

If it can't, then it would make for an odd paper ("some people are born to win, so my intention is to look for such people for my tennis program, instead losers").
 
Last edited:

r2473

Talk Tennis Guru
Are you really sure about this?

I'd guess at the top 100 level, you'd find that a bunch of "talent identification" test winners have been selected. There's a lot more to it, but I'd think that things like foot speed are being selected in the world-class players to a greater extent these days than perhaps in the past. Federer, Djokovic, Nadal, etc. are great movers. I doubt that the 400 meter run has much relevance, but I'd guess tests of the ability to quickly change direction over short distances is correlated with winning tennis.
OK, put this in "paper form" that the OP can use.
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
As harsh as it sound Nick B talks about losers and how he wants to be with winners only.

I think the OP needs to define "Win". Winning enough to play college or making a living as a pro or winning slams?

If you're looking for funding you have to say it is not innate. The truth is that it is developed as a child. You'll find a competitive person will be competitive into old-age even with table games & etc.

If it can't, then it would make for an odd paper ("some people are born to win, so my intention is to look for such people for my tennis program, instead losers").
 

r2473

Talk Tennis Guru
As harsh as it sound Nick B talks about losers and how he wants to be with winners only.
I agree with this too actually. Even at my level, you can easily tell the "winning mindsets" from the "losing mindsets". And people very rarely change. I agree with Nick. I like to be around life's winners, and not the bickering, negative, fault finding losers. "Constructively Positive" people that are always looking for solutions. Not the people that are always looking for the excuses.

I'm not going to explain what I mean by this. It's a "soft" concept. Trying to explain it would result in pointless tangents. But I think you understand Heninfan.
 

RetroSpin

Hall of Fame
One factor that pops up repeatedly with top players is having crazed tennis parents that pushed their kids relentlessly.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
So, the other week I presented at a coaches conference to give some insight to a group of coaches into our World Class Performance Programme. One of the topics that came up was our "What It Takes To Win" model.

For reference a "WITTW" model is something all UK Sport funded sports are required to produce as part of their 4 year funding bids and and are to detail the elements required to win in the particular sport and how the sport will address them.

For some sports creating this document is quite straight forward. In Rowing for example, you have historical data on the winning times for the Mens 4 so you can predict ahead, from there you know what power output each rower must sustain for how long and for how many strokes per minute and you know minimum reaction time required in order to reach a Gold medal time.

In tennis defining "What It Takes To Win" isn't so straightforward - the physical, mental, technical and tactical demands are so varied.

So, if you had to write such a document for tennis (which potentially has millions of £'s riding on it), what would you include?
In my view, winning requires execution of technique and tactics. Execution of technique and tactics requires acquisition of the appropriate skills and consistent mental focus on execution during match play.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
We are all winners on TT.

Sampras has really posted on TT. And Wilson has taken suggestions from TT and their logo designer for RF97 is a poster here, as are some famous stringers from P1. Another company has used TT posters as playtesters for a blacked-out new frame. I have seen articles in Tennis magazines which seem to react to threads on here.

Many famous Internet coaches have also posted here.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
So, how do you plan on presenting the "strong mind" in this paper?

SECTION 1: Winning is captured by statistics (here we talk about serve % and the like)

SECTION 2: Winning requires "a strong mind". What do we talk about? How are we going to develop this?
So what is your suggestion? Are you part of the solution or part of the problem?
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
One factor that pops up repeatedly with top players is having crazed tennis parents that pushed their kids relentlessly.
Another factor is the lack of education beyond 18 for Americans or even 16 for Europeans and others (and yeah I know about Isner).

Crazed parents (or uncles) and low academic expectations seem to be important factors.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Presence of other winners from same country or background may also play a role. Difficult to prove though. Hingis being named Martina after Martina apparently played a huge role in her motivation. Would Stanimal be the same without Federer? Winning is often a relative thing. People have more ego problems with others of similar background,than with remote figures, and ego is a driving factor in winning.
 
M

maxxy777

Guest
What do you think would happen if i told you the right answer.
Or better yet if you knew the right answer,and you are the only one who knows this would you write it on a forum.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Too tired to go through entire thread, but has anyone mentioned ...picking a very weak opponent to play with?

It seems like at rec courts this is the approach that majority of players use.
 

Dan Huben

Semi-Pro
You first have to compete. Keep the ball in play. Be fit. Master your second serve. Volley.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

comeback

Hall of Fame
Pro level= A weapon..coaching (and all below)
College= Talent/athleticism stroke production.. preparation (and all below)
Rec=Experience..conditioning.. free time..money.. desire.. love for the sport
 
M

maxxy777

Guest
what do you think the answer is?
Why would you want to know the answer.
What would you do with it.
Can you imagine knowing exactly how to play your best tennis at any time.
You think that would be easy on you, to play like that day in day out.
What excuse would you make up then to quit when it becomes hard.
Maybe you would just dismiss the answer and continue as it is,
but then you have no excuse of not knowing any more.


So you would not even look for the real answer because deep inside you know you will not use it.
You are just looking for
some easy tip or trick .
That is why you said i THINK coz your subconscious already disregarded any answer you dont like even before i said it.
So you are much better of not knowing mate.
At least you have an excuse now.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
M

maxxy777

Guest
Pro level= A weapon..coaching (and all below)
College= Talent/athleticism stroke production.. preparation (and all below)
Rec=Experience..conditioning.. free time..money.. desire.. love for the sport
It is very easy to logically conclude that the answer must be universal.
 

mightyrick

Legend
I'd honestly say that a winning player must (figuratively speaking) have the mentality and willingness to slowly step on their opponents neck when they have them wrestled to the ground... and when they hear their neck start to break... they continue to apply pressure... squishing their neck flat, and look right into their opponent's eyes as they glaze over... dead. I honestly think that being a consistent winner at anything requires a sociopathic quality to finish the job when your opponent is on the ropes. Win with extreme prejudice.

I don't know how you teach that, though.
 
So, the other week I presented at a coaches conference to give some insight to a group of coaches into our World Class Performance Programme. One of the topics that came up was our "What It Takes To Win" model.

For reference a "WITTW" model is something all UK Sport funded sports are required to produce as part of their 4 year funding bids and and are to detail the elements required to win in the particular sport and how the sport will address them.

For some sports creating this document is quite straight forward. In Rowing for example, you have historical data on the winning times for the Mens 4 so you can predict ahead, from there you know what power output each rower must sustain for how long and for how many strokes per minute and you know minimum reaction time required in order to reach a Gold medal time.

In tennis defining "What It Takes To Win" isn't so straightforward - the physical, mental, technical and tactical demands are so varied.

So, if you had to write such a document for tennis (which potentially has millions of £'s riding on it), what would you include?
To win, you must believe in yourself, practice enough, incorporate all of your skills in a match, be aggressive and do what it takes to outwit the opponent.
 
at the lower Levels it is mostly skill: consistency, power, spin, Placement, footwork, Fitness to a Little degree also strategy.

I believe something like the winning attitude and not being nervous is only a tie breaker if the Level is very Close, mostly at a world class Level. at lower Levels a mentally weak good Player easily beats a mentally strong mediocre Player.
 

treblings

Hall of Fame
So, the other week I presented at a coaches conference to give some insight to a group of coaches into our World Class Performance Programme. One of the topics that came up was our "What It Takes To Win" model.

For reference a "WITTW" model is something all UK Sport funded sports are required to produce as part of their 4 year funding bids and and are to detail the elements required to win in the particular sport and how the sport will address them.

For some sports creating this document is quite straight forward. In Rowing for example, you have historical data on the winning times for the Mens 4 so you can predict ahead, from there you know what power output each rower must sustain for how long and for how many strokes per minute and you know minimum reaction time required in order to reach a Gold medal time.

In tennis defining "What It Takes To Win" isn't so straightforward - the physical, mental, technical and tactical demands are so varied.

So, if you had to write such a document for tennis (which potentially has millions of £'s riding on it), what would you include?
i´ve been thinking about this for the last few days, not continously, and i´m still not sure if i understand you correctly:)
is this about what it takes to win at world class level, or for any level?

if the answer is world class level, and i would think it is, than we are talking about a number of qualities that are necessary.
From athletic skills to the ability to handle pressure.
Being able to change tactics in high pressure situations.
Having at least one "super weapon". No attackable weaknesses.
Understanding that the learning process never ends, even if you are at the top of the rankings.
Being able to recover quickly and handle the demands of constant travelling, different time zones, etc.
Build up a great team around you.
Have a basic knowledge about nutrition and how to recover efficiently and have the discipline to follow a good program.

This is just an excerpt.

Lately there have been discussions in our national federation that there is a demand from parents to have a guideline about what it takes to get to world class level.
How many hours do kids have to train at different ages, and for many days a week.
How many tournaments do they have to play at different ages.
What kind of physical work do they have to do?
Do they need to work with mental coaches early on?
Very important, how much will that cost the parents over the years?
How many years will it take to get to world class?

i can understand how such a document would be valuable for parents, and maybe also for the coaching community, to know what it is they get into.

Is there a document like that in Great Britain?
 
Top