Tennis Tip: Thank You Paul Annacone. "Make Your Partner Feel Like a Champion"
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.

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. 

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. 


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! 
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Posted in Tennis Tips    Tagged with Doubles, Tennis Tips, Partner


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