1. Implement what you’ve learned from your Private Lessons
There may be certain things you’re working on with your private coach. Being able to practice it in a match situation is ideal as you can see if it working under pressure. Everything we learn in our lessons is for when we compete, so having extra Matchplay under our belt is beneficial!
If there’s a strategy or tactic you’re working on with your coach you can implement it here without the pressure of Tournament or weekend competition. Playing to your own strengths is extremely important as a player, but you have to look for the opposition’s weakness too. Speak to your coach about what’s the best set of tactics for you and start to develop your own game style.
Matchplay is competitive! It simulates competition so you must treat it with a similar attitude. Competition is fun. You should warm up beforehand & cool down afterward like you would for Competition/Tournaments. Developing your competitive skills is very important so that you always give your best effort regardless of the score.
4. Simply playing sets (Experience, pressures, routines)
One thing we hear often is that players don’t play enough sets! Practice matches have a similar feeling of pressure to Competition. It helps create a competitive environment but also the freedom to practice your tactics. It’s also an opportunity to practice your routines, these are routines that are in between points/games, before and after matches. Repetition and similarity are key and will build experience.
5. Gain Confidence
All players will go through ups & downs, which is normal in a tennis player’s journey. When a player has lost some confidence, a great way to gain confidence again is through practice matches with specific goals not related to the score. Having a small win can give you confidence but working on your specific goals and achieving them also helps build confidence. The more often a player puts themself in the position to deal with match play, the more confident they will be to deal with tournament & competition matches.
A few little extras…
If you have a coach watching (or parent if they know how) you can get your match analyzed. It can be as simple as counting Unforced Errors or seeing what your 1st serve % is. It’s a great learning tool and is happening more often.
Your coach won’t always be able to tell you what to do! When you’re out there on your own you’ll need to problem-solve. Players should watch what their opponents are doing and play accordingly. They might be playing really well so we just have to hang in there a little longer!
Practice Matches are a great way to build friendships! Bring your friend down to your local court and play a set against each other. You may build a healthy rivalry between one another!
Vida Tennis runs regular Match Play Practice sessions each term for all levels of players. For more information please check the calendar under the programs tab.