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Tennis Tips - Fitness & Mental Toughness

An Excuse is Not a Good Reason to Lose a Match
Over the years, we’ve heard them all; the excuses players can find after losing a match. Sometimes, they start prepping these excuses before or during the match (i.e. my stomach/
back/arm/leg/whatever is sore, it’s too windy/cold/sunny/hot, I can’t play pushers/cheaters/whiners). The list goes on and on, and none of it is any good. These excuses are so transparent that no one really believes them, including the player. Somehow, it soothes the hurt at the moment of the loss, so emotionally weaker players often fall prey to this habit. Silly, isn’t it? If it’s windy for you, then it’s windy for your opponent. Someone will win this match. Why not give your energy totally to simply competing your best no matter what the circumstances?

Successful players rarely succomb to the temptation of giving an excuse for a loss; they realize that it’s much classier and better for their long-term prospects to give credit to their
opponent for coming up with the goods to beat them. Even when they have a legitimate reason for not being able to play their best, top players rarely volunteer that information before, during, or after their match. Rafa Nadal and Kim Clijsters exemplify this true mental toughness, and young players John Isner and Melanie Oudin show the same character. Don’t get in the habit of looking for excuses. Rather keep silent and focus on giving everything you have to find a way to win. If you don’t, find the grace to compliment your opponent on a good match. This approach will fast track you to real success in competition, and win you respect along the way.

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