by Christo Van Rensburg on December 26th, 2014

It’s the end of the year, and we had to deal with all of the ups and downs. Some had celebrations that they could share with special people and some had some painful situations that were tough to deal with. Do we know for sure what 2015 will bring to the “table”?

One thing is for certain, we can make a decision in how we want to attack 2015. We will have to decide internally what steps to take into the unknown 2015. If we are fortunate we might have some help from close friends around us or maybe we can be that supportive friend to someone else.

The best advice I can share comes from my friend at MATaustin.com and it all starts with a chart. Yes, a simple chart that collects data you log on a regular basis. Do not just talk about it. 

A chart is a commitment between you and your goals, and a reminder of your goals for 2015. It doesn’t require money, a lot of time, or exercise. It just requires a few seconds of your time. Try logging entries 1 time per week, 3 times a week, or once a day.  You make that commitment with your chart. All I am asking for is consistency and you have to fill in the chart. This chart will provide feedback when you look at it.

What you put on your chart, if you should have only one chart, or more than one chart is confidential between you and your goals for 2015.

Here are some examples:

Weight Loss: Write your weight down on the days you scheduled to jot it down. It does not matter in the beginning whether the number stays the same or goes up, but I guarantee you that one day you will look at your chart and the chart WILL talk back to you.
Those days will be very interesting! Just keep filling in the numbers.

Weight Training: Somedays it is tough to get to the gym. I saw a note on a gym door as you enter and it said, “You have done the tough part already, and it was getting here”. That is so true. My advice here is to make an easy schedule in the beginning. Don’t say which days you will workout on the chart, but rather 1 day/week or 3 days in 2 weeks. It gives you a little breather on some days that you just do not feel up for the gym. After a while you will be in a groove and it will get easier. When you see results it is always easier to keep it up. Results might not be the increase in numbers but can be in the satisfaction of seeing how the chart is filling up. Just keep jotting down info.

Parenting Chart: What?!!?  There is a manual for parenting?  You are kidding me!!  Yes, I’m kidding and there is no manual for being a great parent, but what about trying to become a better parent? O.K., that is probably another chart. What about trying to notice what your kids do well and compliment them on it. Can you write on a chart every time you said something positive to them, something that you know they enjoyed hearing. It could be one sentence/week, maybe 4/week. Just say it and write it down. You need to see how this chart grows. It is for you, because now you are looking to notice the good things in life and not being a policeman who wants to fix everything. Sometimes it is good if they make mistakes, because later they will be more prepared to handle mistakes. By complimenting your kids, you are planting a seed in their head that they are great and it will help with their inner confidence. 

Spouse Chart: Oh NO. NO. There isn’t a chart big enough to measure this. It should be full every week. A full chart every day will score a lot of points, and I don't mean tennis points!
​Praising anyone will NEVER make them angry. Have you ever seen a person get angry after receiving a compliment? Remember the saying, “What you sow you will reap”. Why not start a chart where you jot down when you gave someone a verbal boost. Let’s prepare to make a difference in our own life by focusing on how we want to start looking at 2015. We have a choice to make, why not start 2015 with a chart that will benefit us, by seeing the good things around us. 


​​Lets clean house, INSIDE of us. Let’s make ourselves the CEO and President of our thoughts and start running this company with pride. The chart will become our friend and it is just a matter of time and a small commitment to fill it in, to make a difference in our lives.

​WHAT WILL YOUR CHART SAY TO YOU 3, 6, 12 months from now?


​Let’s talk TENNIS CHART:
Oh yes, there is a tennis chart. There are a lot of tennis charts. I can write a book about tennis charts.

Stay tuned for the next blog about tennis charts. You do not want to miss this. You do want to get to match point before your opponents, don’t you??

Christo van Rensburg

​.... and don't get mad,
because like my lovely daughter once said:
"if you are mad or sad, you play bad"

Let me know if these tips have helped you! 
Visit me at www.F-ACE.net 
Do not forget to check out my other venture at www.flirtyF-ACE.com

by Christo Van Rensburg on December 2nd, 2014

​a F-ACE Reminder!!

​All tennis players are created equal, some are just more equal than others.

O.K.,  I am just hoping that my reminder will put a smile on your face after reading it a few times. Now that I have your attention, let’s make you more “equal” also, more equal than who? O.K., enough…I am carrying it too far...sorry...just having fun writing this.

Tennis is about movement. We have to move to get to a ball. Some move better than others, or at least they think so, but lets just give them their pride and joy. Tennis players know that the first 2 steps you give on the tennis court can be crucial in getting you to the shot early enough. 

Getting to the ball early enough means 2 things: 
  1. It will get the feet placed in a better position, and 
  2. You will have more options in what you want to do with the ball when you get there early enough.
We cannot control the outcome of the point, but we can control how we want to improve our movement on the tennis court. 

For the last 10 years I have had the privilege of learning from the best in the world, Eric Ferguson (mataustin.com), on how the muscles in our body work. I am happy to share with you a training tip to make you have more explosive movement on the court. This method will help anyone who has muscles. Yes, I am talking to YOU, unless you are the Terminator or some alien, then, I cannot help you. I have no problem if you think you are the Terminator. 

Our goal is to add power that increases explosiveness to the muscles. Adding power to the muscle can only be achieved if the exercise takes less than 25 seconds. Training for 26 sec or longer will add endurance to the muscle, and that is not our goal, at least not for today.  For this training tip we are focusing on the first 2 steps and looking to improve our explosiveness to get to the ball faster than our opponents.
Get Prepared: 
  • ​Get access to a bicycle. I have been doing mine on an indoor bicycle in the gym. 
  • Set Resistance. First you have to test how high you want the resistance and here is my tip. “Do not go too high, only high enough to ensure the peddles do not slip when you want to go fast.” Use that as a guide. 
  • Now that you know your resistance you are ready to start.
  • Make sure you have a pen and paper on hand.

Let’s assume the stop watch or clock is at the top of the hour:
  • Warm up for 2 minutes on an easy resistance, below the high resistance point you set in the prior instruction.
  • After 2 minutes increase your resistance to the level you picked earlier and peddle as fast as you can for only 10 sec. and notate what the highest RPM was during that 10 seconds. (2:00 to 2:10)
  • Next, decrease the resistance until you are just cruising slowly for 1 minute while writing the highest RPM of the intense 10 sec. training time. (2:10 to 3:10)
  • After 1 minute of cruising to (3:10) you increase resistance again and train hard for 10sec. (3:10 to 3:20)
  • Decrease resistance again to a slow cruising speed for 1 minute while writing the  highest RPM achieved during the intense 10 sec. training time. (3:20 to 4:20)
  • After 1 minute of cruising to (4:20) you increase resistance and train hard for 10sec. (4:20 to 4:30)
  • Decrease resistance to cruising speed for 1 minute while you write the highest RPM from the 10 sec. intense training period. (4:30 to 5:30)


You are now entering the middle phase of the exercise:
The cruising, the resistance and the RPM system is still going in the same sequence. It is just the times that are changing now.
  • From 5:30 you will train hard for 15 seconds to 5:45
  • You will cruise for only 45 seconds now to 6:30
  • At 6:30 hard again to 6:45 and cruise to 7:30
  • Hard again for your last 15 seconds to 7:45
  • As you cruise to 8:30, you can see the finish line, only 3 more to push.
  • At 8:30 go hard for 20 seconds.
  • At 8:50 cruise for only 30 seconds.
  • At 9:20 hard to 9:40 (20sec)
  • Cruise to 10:10 (30sec)
  • Finish hard and strong for last 20sec.
  • Finished at 10:30

The goal is for the rpm’s to start increasing over time.

Because I am so passionate about this short 2min 15sec program, I have included a sheet for you to print, that you can fill in.

If you can do this on a regular schedule.... YOU WILL see results.
If you add up the intense part of the exercise, it’s only 2min 15sec. 
I will never ask a lot but I have been on this program and have experienced the fantastic speed results. It is all about persistence and sticking to the dates you select to accomplish this. 

I am cheering for you!!! Can you give me 2min 15sec of your time? You won’t regret.
I would love to hear your progress.


Note: On my chart is a high heart rate section. Those of you working out with a heart rate monitor will use the highest heart rate you achieved when doing this exercise.

Download Your Training Sheet:


by Christo Van Rensburg on November 7th, 2013

It was 1997 and Michael Chang, #2 in the world at that time, asked me to coach him during the grass court season preparing for Wimbledon.  We had just finished Queens and we were headed to Holland, the last warm up tournament before Wimbledon. After losing in a tough 3 set match against 1996 Wimbledon champ, Richard Krajicek in the semi final,  I was on my way to meet up with Michael in the locker room.  

What was about to happen, is related to all those sports players who know that when you are retired, people do not remember you anymore and definitely do not ask for autographs.  With that in mind, it was a shock to my system when this cute little boy of about 8 years old walked up to me and asked me for my autograph. I was kind of lost for words. Then it hit me, his parents probably sent him over. Maybe they remembered the times I played.

I looked at him and said, " You don't know who I am".  Before I could even finish he replied, "Yes I do".  I said, " No you don't".  I said this, knowing there was no way he was old enough to see me play and to become a fan. The little boy sounded confident and witty, expressed in a firmer voice " Yes I do".  So I got down to my knees, so I could be the same level as he was and because I suddenly felt that rush again. "he knows me, he actually knows me".  I had an impact on this little boy and this could be the last autograph for me,Christo Van Rensburg, the tennis player, to a fan in Holland.  Just to hear my name again, I asked him "Who am I?".

This time he looked at me as if I was weird and replied, knowing he has won this battle, he said " You are Michael Chang's coach"  
.... and don't get mad,
because like my lovely daughter once said:
"if you mad or sad, you play bad"

Let me know if these tips have helped you! 
Visit me at www.F-ACE.net 
Do not forget to check out my other venture at www.flirtyF-ACE.com

by Christo Van Rensburg on August 21st, 2013

Today's tip comes from many matches I played with Paul Annacone who helped me to become a better tennis player.  Together as a team, we reached the number one ranking in the world.
Paul had a singles ranking of #12 in the world. 
 
Why do we always play better in practice????? because our muscles are more relaxed and there is no tension in the muscles.  We all know when your muscles are relaxed, you WILL perform better. During a match there is a stress factor, the stakes are higher and winners get separated from losers.​

Remember those days when things are just not working for your partner.  Whatever they try, things just get worse.  You really want to win this match, but you feel like you are playing against 3 players.  Your partner is playing like a dog!!!!  You wonder why you picked him/her to be your partner.

Thank you to a great friend and partner, Paul Annacone, who helped me to change a loosing situation into a winable match.
When Paul Annacone and I were #1 in the world in doubles, we had many days like that. I became the "dog" a lot more than him.
We were playing doubles and I could not "buy" a return on the add side.  Paul was playing like a star and break points were adding up, but we could not break because like I said, I was playing like a "dog" and it felt like impossible to make a return.  
Just as I was wondering where to hide my frustrations, Paul came over with a smile.  I was thinking to myself, should I whack that smile off his face, because I was not in the mood for any coaching or funny remark. I needed my space and he was in it.  
Calm as a cucumber he said:  "They are serving a lot better to you than to me.  I’m so happy I am not returning from your side".  They can not keep up that level of serving.
WOW!!!!!   I still remember those words as if it was yesterday.

WHY THIS STORY ?
He made me feel as if it was not me that was playing bad, but instead had me believed that the server was on a roll.  He was on my side and hearing those words made my muscles relaxed and I started playing like those practice matches were I was on top of the world. 

Those words gave me an internal smile and soon my returns were back on par, because my muscles were relaxed and my worries were gone.  

What do you think would have happened if he showed any anger towards me, or maybe showing some disgust.  That would have made me more mad.  When you are trying to coach your dog, I mean your partner, you only send a message that you notice that they are in a slump, and that will only make them tense up more. They already feel a knife in their back, do not go and give it a twist. 

SUMMARY: 
A positive response or a funny remark will relieve the tension and you will see your partner turn into a champion.
Leave the coaching for the practice court and the negative talk for the opponents.
Dwelling on mistakes will not get you to MATCH POINT. 

When in doubt, MAKE YOUR PARTNER FEEL LIKE A CHAMPION.

If you like my tips tell your friends, but not your opponents!!!!!!!
.... and don't get mad,
because like my lovely daughter once said:
"if you mad or sad, you play bad"

Let me know if these tips have helped you! 
Visit me at www.F-ACE.net 
Do not forget to check out my other venture at www.flirtyF-ACE.com

by Christo Van Rensburg on June 28th, 2013

Featured Video:

Christo joins some famous tennis stars during Wimbledon as one of the "WILD ONES"

by Christo Van Rensburg on June 27th, 2013

Today’s tip comes from a doubles match I played with one of the best tennis players in the world, IVAN LENDL.  He had so many records but the 2 most amazing achievements that stands out to me is:
8 straight US-Open singles finals.
4 singles titles in 4 weeks on 4 different continents


Lendl and I were playing doubles in Marseille, France.

Lendl was serving to the deuce side, to the opponent's backhand.  We were in the 2nd set and it was Lendl’s 4th service game of the match.  I turned around after once again we were up 15-0, having just won the first point on Lendl's serve AGAIN. 
I said, "You know that you have not served one serve to this guy’s forehand on the deuce side". He replied with a question, "Have we lost any points yet" ?  
You all guessed it!  We had not lost a single point by serving the same serve over and over and over and over and oovvvverrrrrrr. 

We had won the first set and Lendl was serving for the match at 40-15.  I was at the net waiting for him to serve us to the next round as I hear him calling me over.  Quietly he whispered "Now I will mix it up and serve to the forehand, just for you".  Obviously we both had a grin on our faces while getting ready for the matchpoint to be played. His serve came by me, like a rocket, straight to the guys backhand AGAAAIN and we won the match.  Never had I played a match in which an opponent never returned a forehand, or should I say, returned the same stroke every time for a whole match.
Now you know the humor of Lendl who became one of my best friends, and tutor. 

WHY THIS STORY ?
After the match in the locker room he called me over and with a big smile he asked me if I liked the way he "MIXED UP THE SERVE TO THE DEUCE SIDE TODAY".

My reponse after a big laugh was "what were you going to do if this guy was going to start returning better. By doing the same thing, he could have got rhythm and got better as the match continued". 

With a simple reply he asked me "did he get better" ?  and then he smiled and walked away. 

That night at the dinner table, like always, we were joking around about the funny things that happened that day in our matches.  After still enjoying how he fooled me on the match point serve, he turned to me and said: "NEVER CHANGE SOMETHING THAT WORKS FOR YOU IN A MATCH. Let the opponent change first, because you do not know if he can change". 

SUMMARY:
If you have just won the point, do the same thing again as soon as you can.

What was about to be just a funny story, turned out to be the best tip of my life and now yours too.  This way you will always focus on what you are doing well.
Look for those points that will take you to match point before your opponents and use them as many times as you can. 

Ivan Lendl is a true friend of mine and I was fortunate to be a guest at his wedding.  Now the wedding day, that was another story of how he tricked me AGAIN in believing it was something else.  Everyone at the wedding knew that he told me it was a formal lunch and presentation of his green card, and that I had to dress formal.  What a shock it was when they ushered me to this room with chairs facing forward and pretty flowers down the aisle and everyone paying attention to how I would react.  As he walked into the room our eyes met and I got that same smile that I've seen in Marseille.  
One of the most funniest guys off the court and someone who likes to tease and play pranks, taught me not only about tennis strategy, but also valuable life lessons.
Today we are still good friends and someone who played a major part in me being ranked in the top 20 in singles and #1 in doubles with my friend Paul Annacone.

I was fortunate to be part of a prank in the surprising 50th of Lendl.
Kudos for Samantha, his wife, in pulling that off. 
If you like my tips tell your friends, but not your opponents!!!!!!!

Remember if you can not play like a pro,
You can still think like a pro.
...because as my lovely daughter once said:
"if you're mad or sad, you play bad"

Let me know if these tips have helped you! 
Visit me at www.F-ACE.net 
Do not forget to check out my other venture at www.flirtyF-ACE.com 

by Christo Van Rensburg on June 24th, 2013

here are 2 ways of playing better tennis and it all depends entirely on YOU, yourself. 

Guess what? One of them is extremely easy and YOU WONT NEEDEXTRA HOURS PRACTICING ON THE COURT
EXTRA MONEY SPENT ON COACHINGAll you need is a pencil and paper (and you must be able to write). - LOL!. The fantastic news is that this just takes 2 minutes out of you free time. 

You know what I like about this tip? You have no idea what I am going to teach you, but I know I have you on the edge of your seat. Ha ha ha - let's start. 

Answer the following: There are many shots in tennis but which shot do you have to play the most? 

The answer is: RETURN OF SERVE 

So, now what is your better return? forehand or backhand? 

The most important thing in tennis is to hide your weaknesses and use your strengths. 

How do we do it on the returns without having to practice more or pay more? 

Depending on your level of play and also on the strength of your opponent’s serve, I am taking the worst scenario for you to HELP you. (Their serve is better than your return) 

Do the following on their 2nd serve only: Move your position 2 steps to the left or right, from where you normally stand to return, depending on your answer. 

EXAMPLE: 
If you are right-handed and your forehand is better, stand 2 steps to the left. If you are right-handed and your backhand is better, stand 2 steps to the right. 

If you are left handed and your forhand is better, stand 2 steps to the right. If you are left handed and your backhand is better, stand 2 steps to the left. 

WHY?
My question today for you is: "why wouldn’t you want to make it tough for your opponent to serve a second serve to your weakness?" By standing over to one side you are making the target for them to serve to your weakness, much smaller. 

SUMMARY: I did not ask you to change your grip. I did not ask you to change your stroke. I did not ask you to run more. Can this be any easier to improve your tennis attitude? 

Sorry, but I did lie about the 2 minutes, it was only 2 seconds to answer the question. I do want you to write it down though, because you need to always "see" your strengths. 

The biggest improvement in doing this tip, is that you now have made a 100% commitment in what shot you want to play and that will give you a clear mind when waiting to return. Keep track of how many times you actually got the return you were waiting for and if it is above 70% of the time you will get to match point before your opponents. 

Let’s sit down and think about the following: If you do have a stronger side to return from, should you return 5 forehands and 5 backhands out of ten 2nd serves? NO NO NO Nooooo. 

See you soon for a new tip! 

If you like my tips tell your friends, but not your opponents!!!!!!!
.... and don't get mad,
because like my lovely daughter once said:
"if you mad or sad, you play bad"

Let me know if these tips have helped you! 
Visit me at www.F-ACE.net 
Do not forget to check out my other venture at www.flirtyF-ACE.com

by Christo Van Rensburg on June 23rd, 2013

LOB LOB LOB -- what are we going to do against all those LOBBERS in the league? 

The more I study tennis at everyday social or league matches the more I realize that the lob is being used a lot.  Personally, I am a big fan of the lob.  Jimmy Connors was known for lobbing early in a match to let his opponent knows that he could not come to the net and "sit on top of the net", an expression we use when someone is very close to the net.

The area that I want to address is what should the team do that are on the receiving end of the lob?  Why does the lob always go over their heads?
If so, what should they do?

I have said this many times....The most important thing in doubles is communication.
The 2nd most important thing is communication, and the 3rd that is not that important is communication......hahahah......you get my drift.  Make sure your partner and you are on the same page in knowing what you want to do and why you want to do things and when you want to do it.

It is very important during a match to find out which opponent lobs a lot.  Are they both lobbing a lot or only one of them?  Talk to your partner so you both agree on the answer to this question.  When you play against a good lobber, a simple rule of thumb is that you can not stand the same distance from the net as if you are playing someone that never lobs.  Stand at least one to two steps further back than usual and from this day on we will call that spot your comfort zone.  Every player I coach has learned about the C-Zone (comfort zone), because we all have our C-Zones where we like to play from.  So to recap, you will have 2 different C-Zones in doubles when you play 2 opponents where one is a lobber and one is not. Those 2 C-Zones will be about one to two steps apart.  You have heard the expression: Christo can take you to the w, but you have to drink yourself....... you will have to pay attention on which opponent is going to hit the ball and then move to your C-Zone before they strike the ball.  Sorry but that is the rule if you want to get to match point before they do.

Still, sometimes the lob will go over your head and what now?  I want to bring in a valuable point in what you as a team must do now?  Start praying.  Just kidding.  
If you were both at the net, then it will be quite tough, but at least try and whoever thinks they can get it must shout out loud, so you both don't go for the ball.  If this situation happens more and more then you both will have to move your C-Zone back another step. If this still does not help and the opponents still lob over your heads then you must go to option 2.  
What is option 2 ?
I am so happy that you are confused about option 2, because I have not addressed option 2 yet, but I will if you want me too.  Do you, .....say please !!!!

Option 2:
You have tried to play both at the net at the same time. It did not work, so make sure that you not together at the net again. You or your partner will be at the net, but not both.  Avoid things that does not work or that plays into the oppositions hands. 
Now if the lob goes over the net players head, the baseline partner will run across to get the ball. It sounds simple, but what is very important now for the baseline player, is to realize if they can make a good shot back that will be deep. If they feel that it is going to be a tough shot to get deep back into the opposition court they HAVE TO SHOUT AND LET THEIR PARTNER KNOWS TO COME BACK TO THE BASELINE......Maybe something like "come back" or "back up". This would give you a heads-up that your partner is in trouble and for you to COME BACK TO THE BASELINE as QUICK as your legs can carry you there. 

WHY should you retreat to the baseline and not just stand there at the net or service line? Because....your partner is in trouble.  You have to come back and help try to get the next ball the opponents will hit from your partner’s weak shot back into play.  You will be of no help to your partner if you stay at the net.  

If you and your partner have a good understanding than I will suggest the following: 

If your partner does not shout anything it will mean that she feels that her shot will be strong enough to get deep and out of reach from the opposing net player.  During this situation and only this situation, you can back up to the service line and not to the baseline. Carry on and play the point out normal. 

SUMMARY: Let your partner know if you are in trouble.  Doubles is a team sport.  Be there for your partner when they need help.  In all fairness, you might have been the cause for putting your partner in that position.  If you want to get to MATCH POINT, play as a team and do not point fingers.  Being in the right position on the court at the right time can let you get back in a rally from a tough situation. 

If you like my tips tell your friends, but not your opponents!!!!!!!

Remember if you can not play like a pro,
You can still think like a pro.
... because as my lovely daughter once said:
"if you mad or sad, you play bad"

Let me know if these tips have helped you! 
Visit me at www.F-ACE.net 
Do not forget to check out my other venture at www.flirtyF-ACE.com 

by Christo Van Rensburg on June 21st, 2013

Let me start off by teaching you something that is close to my heart and that will get you to match point before your opponents.
The 3 biggest rules in doubles and they are in order of importance.
1) MOST IMPORTANT IS COMMUNICATION
2) 2nd MOST IMPORTANT is communication
3) not as important as 1 and 2, but very close, is communication.

Example:
The baseline player, who is the returner of serve, is thinking of coming to the net after the return to be next to his/her partner, who is at the net already.
The returner pre-plans this before the point starts.
WHAT TO SAY TO YOUR NET PARTNER:
"I am going to try and come to the net if I get a second serve. It is so short and soft and I feel like following it in to the net.  Don't poach." 
A lot of good things can happen now.
You are giving the opponents a different look because you are mixing up your play.
Your partner will not open her alley, so you both will not end up together on the same side.
You are taking advantage of a short ball, in this case a return, and put pressure on the opposition.
Most of all, both of you are on the same page and you will surprise the opponents and not each other.

Example:
The baseliner player, who is still the returner of serve OR who is in the middle of a rally gets a short or weak ball and has decided to follow it in to the net.
The baseline player has not pre-planned this and did not tell his/her net partner before the point started, about coming to the net. This situation just happened as the ball approached the baseliner, and he/she decided to attack this weak ball and follow it in to the net where his/her partner was.
WHAT TO SAY TO YOUR NET PARTNER:
As you are coming forward to take advantage of a short or weak ball, let your net partner know that you are coming towards the net to be next to him/her. Say anything like "I’m here" or "I’m in".  Any noise will let your partner know where you are on the court. The key here is that your partner must not poach now because you have just put pressure on the opponents by being both at the net, so why open his/her alley to make it easy for the opponents to hit the ball there. You are both at the net and have just increased the pressure on the opponents. No one needs to poach now. Trust your team mate.

SUMMARY: Why would anyone want to run in front of his/her partner, when you are both at the net. Remember, it does not matter how good or bad you are. You might not execute every shot as good as the pros, but you surely can think like a pro. Being in the right position on the court at the right time, can get you to match point just a little quicker. 

If you like my tips tell your friends, but not your opponents!!!!!!!

Remember if you can not play like a pro,
You can still think like a pro.
... because as my lovely daughter once said:
"if you mad or sad, you play bad"

Let me know if these tips have helped you! 
Visit me at www.F-ACE.net 
Do not forget to check out my other venture at www.flirtyF-ACE.com 

by Christo Van Rensburg on June 19th, 2013

Words of wisdom from my coach Peter Fishbach from Great Neck NY, who took me from 235 into the top 20 in singles and number one in the world in doubles with my friend and partner Paul Annacone.  "Be prepared that something might not work today".  Find something that works, because there WILL be something that is good enough.  With an attitude like this, great things are in store for you.

After each match, write down the things you did well in your match or practice. This will keep reminding you about your strengths.  We do not need to read about the things we did badly. Like I have said many times, "negative talk will not get us to match point". 

WHAT TO DO with the shots that were not working that day:
When you go for your next practice or drop-in clinic, try to spend extra time on working those flaws out. 
If you have a coach, ask him to spend two thirds of the practice on those situations or shots that have been bugging you and then do not forget to keep making your strengths better.  
Do not fall into the trap of becoming a FIXER.
What is a fixer?  
A fixer is a person who always work on the stuff that is not good enough, and forget to work on the things that are good and making them better.
I always remember my mom teaching me: 
GOOD, BETTER, BEST. Never let it rest,
till your GOOD is BETTER and your BETTER, BEST.

If you are going to a drop-in clinic ask the coach to put you in a position on the court where you will get more of those shots you want to practice without disturbing the rest of the players in the clinic. (Example: If it is the forehand, maybe the coach will not rotate you every time to the backhand side.) 

If you do not have a coach, ask the local coach for 2 minutes of his time to see if he can give you any advice.  This should be in his best interest, because if he does help you with a great tip, you might be his next client.  The 2 minutes can be the beginning of a great future. 

Being a coach myself, similar situations have opened big doors for me and a coach always feels honored when someone comes up and ask him/her for advice. 

SUMMARY:
Like my coach Peter Fishbach from Great Neck NY, used to say
"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." 

Do not get caught by doing the same mistake next time around, because that will be your own fault for not correcting it.  This can actually help you in everyday situations whether at home or at work.  
Remember what Peter said and become aware of what is happening around you.  Find something that will get you to match point before the opponents do.  Work hard and fix the problems, but do not become a fixer.

If you like my tips tell your friends, but not your opponents!!!!!!!

Remember if you can not play like a pro,
You can still think like a pro.
 ... because as my lovely daughter once said:
"if you mad or sad, you play bad"

Let me know if these tips have helped you! 
Visit me at www.F-ACE.net 
Do not forget to check out my other venture at www.flirtyF-ACE.com