A lot of players struggle when the pressure is on during a match and fail to execute their best shots when it matters most. Listed below are some tricks you can use to take the pressure off of yourself so that you can play your best tennis.
Stop Caring and Have Fun—So many players get caught up with the end result of winning or losing that they end up putting pressure on themselves that it paralyzes their game. When you care too much, you start playing tentative and scared which prohibits you from actually playing your best tennis. You start playing not to lose instead of playing to win. The key to playing your best tennis is to stop caring and just have fun. I know it’s easier said than done but once you can master this, you will see a huge difference in your performance.
Flip the Score—How many times have you had the lead in a set or after winning the first set,
turnaround and end up losing. A mental trick you could use would be to switch the score. If you are winning 5-2, pretend that you are losing 2-5. Typically, players who are behind play harder to try and catch back up. This will be very helpful if you are one of those players who struggle with closing out a set or a match.
Prepare Yourself for Success—Another way to take the pressure off yourself is by going into your matches feeling prepared. When you know that you have been working hard by taking private lessons, participating in clinics and match play, you feel more confident in your skill set to play a strong game. Knowing that you have put in the work and are ready to win will go a very long way.
Lose Going for your Shots—The worst that could happen is that you lose a match. So what, it’s not the end of the world. When you go into every match not caring about losing, you will play better. Lose a match going for your shots opposed to losing not going for them. You will keep
yourself in every match if you play hard from beginning to end.