5 Reasons it’s Important to Practice Matches
Match play is a part of our sport. Whenever you are playing a set with a friend, playing points in squads or playing Competition & Tournaments you are practicing points. Tennis players often play a lot of practice matches for several reasons. Here are 5 Reasons it’s Important to Practice Matches.
Implement what you’ve learnt from your Private Lessons
There may be certain things you’re working on with your private coach. Being able to practice it in a Mat situation is ideal. Everything we learn in our Private is for when we play Competition, so having extra Match play 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 tactic for you.
Match play is competitive! It simulates Competition so you must treat it with a similar attitude. Competition is fun. You should warm up beforehand & cool down afterwards like you would for Competition/Tournaments.
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 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 is key, and will build experience.
Players every now & then can go through ups & downs which is normal for a tennis player’s journey. When a player has lost some confidence, a great way to gain confidence again is through practice matches. With getting a win it gives you a small bite of confidence. Another win will give you slightly more, and more, and more. It acts as a snowball effect. This process may not happen straight away but be patient because it will come.
A few little extras…
If you have a coach watching (or parent if they know how) you can get your match analysed. 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 is running a Match Play Practice session each term. For more information please click here