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Sure, practice makes you better at tennis—but how do you get better at practicing?

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Tennis is a technique game. Too many errors are what get most people beaten, and you will reduce them by ingraining mechanically efficient techniques as habits. Now, everybody knows that more practice leads to stronger habits and better execution during play. But many players are not aware that practicing “smart” in addition to practicing “long” leads to the best execution of all. What do I mean by this?

Practicing “smart” means applying constant, concentrated thought to your game during practice sessions. This is hard mental work, and most people are reluctant to do it because it either requires too much effort, or they just neglect to think about it as an issue. They are content to simply hit balls and let their minds wander, exemplifying Henry Ford’s famous quote, “Thinking is the hardest work anyone can do, which is probably the reason we have so few thinkers.”

And to what should this focused thought be applied? It should concentrate on producing the perfect stroke on each repetition.


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