Champions make mistakes. Champions often make just as many mistakes as the rest of us.
At the end of the match, however, they usually win; that’s why they’re champions.
There is one fundamental difference; champions don’t make mistakes on crucial points. I’m sure that you all will agree that some points are more important than other points. To think that your effort must be 100 percent on every single point in a match is ridiculous! No one can sustain their peak like that.
Reserve your peaks. Recognize the crucial points and give those special points your undivided attention and maximum effort.
Some crucial points? How about your advantage to break serve, or ad out when you’re desparately trying to hold serve.
Some crucial games? How about the seventh? Statistics prove that the winner of the seventh game almost always wins the set.
So when you hear a player comment: "It was a close match. We played a lot of great points and we went to deuce countless times. Oh, but I lost 6-1, 6-0," you know that although both players played hard, only one was paying attention to the crucial points.
Some players don’t even know these points exist.
Gary Sherby is tennis director at Racquets and Togs Tennis Center, 115 Bradford St., just off the downtown square. His tennis tips appear Sundays.