Tip of the Week: Play This Point Only

Play This Point Only
By Carl Danner

World class players treat each point with care, starting with their ready position and focus. They prepare themselves to play this point only, rather than the point before or the match after. By contrast, many lower-level players let their emotions and focus wander. But whether it was a bad call by an umpire, a lost opportunity, or a great shot, you need to focus only on the present in preparing for the next shots you will play — right now.

One idea to promote better concentration is to develop a brief pre-point routine, like a professional golfer’s pre-shot routine. A step-by-step repetitive approach can help you settle in and be ready. You might take a deep breath, bounce the ball a couple of times, maybe take a couple of little hops with your feet — anything to signal to yourself that it’s time to re-set for a new point. If you can consistently maintain this routine (even in practice matches), it can become a helpful tool under pressure.

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