Why I train: Because ONE point can decide a match

Up until last year, I wasn’t all that big on training for tennis.  I thought that I got more value out of being on the court, practicing my shots and “playing my way into shape”.  I changed my attitude on that last year when I wanted to exercise more in the off-season and make sure it didn’t take the whole season for me to get in shape.

I played my first tournament of the season earlier today and the little bit of training I have done this winter paid off.  At 6-6 in the 3rd set (10-point) tiebreaker, I had to chase down a lob and then chase down a drop shot to force and error on an easy put-away to win the point.  I went up 7-6 and then won the next three points to close the match.  I was sucking wind big time, but there is no way I would have been able to win that point unless I had been hitting the gym this Winter.

All of this came after starting incredibly slow and going down 4-0 in the first set.  After that, I won 10 out of the next 14 games to force the 3rd set breaker.  Here in Colorado, where the 3rd set tiebreaker is prevalent, one point can easily decide a match.  I saw it happen many times last year.

My reward for winning this match? A 6:30am start tomorrow morning.

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About Neal

tennis, go-karts, blogging, turkey sandwiches.

Posted on February 2, 2013, in tournaments and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’m a recreational 3.5 player that plays in leagues.

    1) Do you do any specific things to the arms at the gym ?

    2) I have played a ‘dinker’ a pusher at my level twice recently – and lost badly on both occasions. He doesn’t have powerful swings, keeps slicing the ball even on his FH, and basically takes away pace from my shots. He doesn’t moonball though.. How should I beat him ? I have a match coming up against him soon.

  2. I don’t have huge arms by any means but here’s what I do:
    + pushups
    + kettlebell exercises: http://youtu.be/kS_LLBUo7iM

    Regarding the dinker, a couple things come to mind:
    1) you gotta get over the mental block. it’s easy to tell yourself “i’m better than this guy, so why am i losing?” respect their game and you’ll play better.
    2) take some time to experiment. it’s ok if you lose a few games in the process, but play points differently until you find the winning combination. it might be attacking the net, it might be hitting more shots out wide… take note of what works and keep doing it.

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