The Secrets to Becoming a Tennis Player


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The Secrets to Becoming a Tennis Player

“If I ask to repeat a move 10 times in a row during training, we stay there until we finish repeating it. This is the most difficult part of our job. There is a phase in which we must stress and it offers little fun to the doer… I am a nuisance, I know.

Do you think it's funny? It is not. I don't sleep at night because I think: "My player believes that yesterday I was breaking his balls." I didn't want to break his balls. I just wanted him to do what competition necessitates doing.

The biggest difficulty I have had with my players in my career is to translate the difficulty of the competition into training. I ask my players to do certain things in a way not because I don’t like them, but because otherwise they will find an opponent who won't make them do it.

If you want to play at a certain level, certain exercises have to be done in less than a second. These exercises have to be done with a person who is bigger than you, who can push you when you touch the ball. These have to be done with ten thousand people insulting you.

They have to be done with a referee who maybe doesn't see. And then you have to get used to training, which you can't find out in the game. Or worse, you can't ask me 10-15 games to understand what life is like. And the whole problem arises there.

If I ask to repeat a move 10 times in a row during training, we stay there until we finish repeating it. Because this is nothing compared to the pressure that will greet you at the moment of the game when you take the field.

It is a problem of self-need. I believe I can be a coach if I fight to stimulate self-need. If I, as a coach, manage to convince three of my 10 players to be self-demanding with themselves and their teammates, I have won there.

I won't train them anymore. I will start to look somewhere else and the car will ride alone. Our fight is not a change of direction, pattern one or pattern three. Our fight is that the players get to the point where, in a moment of great pressure, they pass the ball to each other.

Because it's too easy, in a moment of pressure, to drop my head, dribble and I'll do it”. This was Ettore Messina’s explanation of the importance of self-need to an audience of young coaches and players.

The talk was about basketball. But there was also talk about volleyball. There was talk of all kinds of sports. And, also about life. PS If you'd like to go deeper on the mental power: 4 TENNIS - Mental toughness