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Tennis Coach's Corner

Tennis Tip

Presented by Mike Gardner, Camp Director
Nike Tennis Camp (Amherst) at Mount Holyoke College - All Skills Program

Nike Tennis Tip: Practice As If You Are Playing A Match

Match Practice

How many times have you gotten in a match and wondered why you can't perform the same way you do in practice?  Likely the answer is: you care.  

So, how can you change this?  Mike Gardner, longtime Director of the Amherst Nike Tennis Camps and renowned Boston area junior coach, reminds his players to "Practice as if it's a Match" along with these helpful tips:   

Keep score.  
Even though you can't replicate the pressure of a tournament in practice, you can still benefit from playing baseline games, sets, tie-breakers, anything keeping score.  Push yourself to come from behind in a practice match, or learn to slow down the tempo in a baseline game when your opponent is on fire.  Test yourself to play with only one serve.  Play multiple practice matches in a day to work on mental endurance and focus.  All of these can help you 

Do you prepare and focus in practice like you do in a match?  It takes discipline.  Show up to practice on time.  Stretch and warm-up the same way you would before a match.  If you are playing with friends, limit the chit chat!  If you're playing a set with a friend, don't sit and talk on water breaks...rather, think about what you need to do to turn a match around or keep the lead.  

For more great tips and coaching, come join Mike Gardner and his amazing staff at Amherst College this summer!  #seriousfun

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