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My Line Call | Tennis twelve tips of never

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TENNIS is no different from other sports. It has also laundry list of what you must do and mistakes you must avoid.

If you are exiting early in your club tournament, you are probably engrossed with the latter. Try the following ‘never”. These may be the visa to your first club championship. 

1.Never go incomplete. Make sure you have extra racket, extra shoes and socks, grips and water bottle to prop up your court aggression. Tennis is everything. You cannot win by just brandishing your racket alone in an important match.

2.Never underestimate opponents. No matter how lowly ranked they are, you should regard them as equal. You may not know it, but your bragging stance may spark their determination and motivation to beat you in front of your friends and relatives.

3.Never say die. Keep running and return shot after shot as if there would never be tomorrow. Your tenacity and stubbornness will bring you through.

4.Never curse officials. Made up players have tendency to do this. But this is not fair. Most of these officials volunteer their time and expertise for free to make the event happen. They should be accorded with due respect.

5.Never take chances. Refrain from hitting the ball close to the line.  Do not copy the pros for doing this. Tennis is their livelihood. For weekenders like us, be realistic. Aim your return 3 feet from the baseline. And you will have a lot of fun.

6.Never try fancy shots. Notorious. for this show is world ranked Gael Monfils of France. But he practices under the two legs shot five hundred times a day. Unless you have time to do your own version, just stick to what you are capable of.

7.Never start cold. Or you will be down 5-0 fast. if there is no court to warm up, go to a place outside the venue and loosen yourself over there hours before the match. Tennis commentator and formerly world ranked Brad Gilbert has likened this approach. Tight and cold muscle to start a match is a big no.

8.Never hate the weather. Ninety nine percent of the time, tournaments are held outdoors. So, embrace and use it instead to your advantage. For instance, when sun is high noon, lob the ball. When the wind is against you, hit the ball hard.

9.Never fail to plan. If you don’t, you plan to fail. Bring Plan A, B and C to your tennis suitcase every time. If Plan A does not work, go to Plan B or C. If none  works out, go back to the basic   Hit your return left and right.

10.Never lose emotion. It is only the living tennis legend, John McEnroe who can do this. Anger brings genius to his game. Unfortunately, none of us is John McEnroe. Keep your temper under check. If you are about to outburst, think about your parents who will be ashamed of your court behavior.

11.Never rejoice early. Or you will be in trouble. Players tend to forget that there is still one more point to play. Scenes of shaking hands suddenly engulf his brain. As a result, he loses point after point. And to his dismay, the victory is gone. It ain’t over til it’s over as the saying goes.

12.Never play second fiddle. The night before your important match, make an imaginary movie of yourself — running around the court, returning all difficult shots, ignoring bad calls, taking everything in strides, looking confident, well composed, and receiving the trophy in the end.

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