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Excerpted from "Match Play"
(All Rights Reserved, Pros Inc. 1991 ©)

TENNIS LESSON   Chapter #12 - Settling Disputes

TENNIS INSTRUCTIONYou will have disputes on the court. I said earlier that it's important to be fair rather than nice, but now I want to discuss with you what goes on inside your head in relation to disputes.  If you are having a dispute (they are not fun and they are unpleasant) I want you to make sure that one dispute does not distract you from complete focus on succeeding points. I want you to make sure that you resolve the dispute in your own mind and you are ready to play the next point.  If that means bouncing the ball eight, ten, twelve times before you start up the next point, fine.  If that means taking a short little walk, fine. Do whatever you need to do to resolve the dispute in your mind and play on from there.

If you've made a bad call, admit it and say, "I'm sorry.  I made a bad call.  The ball was in. It's your point."  I don't want that one point to cause you from having a guilty conscientious for the next two hours.  It's better to say, "Gee, I really made a mistake. It's your point."  Then your conscience is clear and you can play on from there.  If you've called the ball out and you're sure it's out, well, stay with it.  Your conscience is clear, and it should not matter to you if they're jumping up and down and threatening your life.  If your conscience is clear and the ball was out, the ball was out.  Don't let their problem become your problem.  If they think you are cheating, that's their problem.  You know in your heart you are not cheating.  It's not your problem.

Make sure before you start the next point that your mind is clear.  Even if you decide in your mind that you have just gotten ripped off, that your opponent and the officials have robbed you of a point, or robbed you of a game, resolve in your mind that you have just gotten ripped off and now you are ready to play from there on.  Don't keep going back to that one point and say, "If I had only gotten that one point," because then you are distracting yourself from the task.

One point does not a match make (unless, of course, it's the last point!). But don't let one dispute on one point carry over for the next two hours.

You're only going to have disputes maybe twenty percent of the time. It's normal.  People have disputes.  Some people handle them well.  Some people handle them poorly.  Your ability to handle those disputes will help you to win more matches.

Make sure you're ready to play, and then play on totally focussed.

TENNIS TIP   Chapter #13 - Bad Line Calls

There is a tip I'm going to give you now concerning bad line calls that will not only show you the best way to deal with them, but also improve your tennis attitude forever ....

There are 15 more tennis tips in this Tennis Instruction CD.   Buy "Match Play" Now!

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