ignore the score, especially if it’s a perfect game

Lanny Bassham tells you to ignore the score. He can do that because he is shooting a rifle. I have to keep the score. No-one else is going to do it and the only marks I leave are skid marks.

So how do you ignore the score? The more you try not to think about something, the more it becomes the only thing you can think about. Think about Steve Sax and Chuck Knoblauch when they started having trouble at second base: the harder they tried to throw the ball to first base accurately, the more the ball sprayed all over the field. You have to occupy your mind with something else and since you’re playing a tennis match it’s probably a good idea to occupy it with thoughts about your serve or service return. One of those two strokes is likely to be the next thing you have to do.

You should have a mental process for every point. Before the point, relax, feel how great it will be to win the point, think about where you want the ball to go and rehearse the next stroke you’ll need. After the point, congratulate yourself if you won the point. If you didn’t, just go on to the preparation for the next point.

Last night Randy Johnson threw a perfect game. There have only been 17 perfect games in Major League history. Johnson said that his focus was exceptional. Of course he knew the score but his mind was totally focused for 27 batters on the pitches he wanted to throw and all of the adjustments he needed to make throughout 9 innings. After he threw the last pitch, he looked calm next to his ecstatic teammates. Mental focus will do that to you.

Practice and Competition Report: practiced for 40 minutes, played with Daniel for one hour, played two rally games: 17-15, 15-13.
Solutions Analysis: looking for solution to rushing to the net and forgetting to go into a split step when my opponent hits the ball.
Success Analysis:
1. even though my forehand wasn’t going very deep, I was able to win both rally games. I thought about where I wanted the ball to go instead of getting caught up in technique and I was able to come back from 2-7 in the second game to win it.
2. I played the important points well.