Discover a plethora of great tips from decades of playing with multiple coaches that can help you create winning ways on the court.
Coach: Beverly Bowes, Former WTA top 50. Five-time all-American.
Bio: Earned top WTA 50 world ranking. Five-time All-American at the University of Texas (UT). Inducted into the UT Women’s Hall of Honor in 2000. Division I NCAA Head Coach at SMU, Assistant Coach at UT, and a USTA National Junior Development Coach.
Length: 4 min 1 sec
Other tracks by Beverley Bowes: Problem Solving, Fight.
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Over the years, I've had some great coaches give me some tools to use. When you play, you want to be really warmed up. I'm talking about more warmed up than your opponent will ever be so that you can start that match, ready to take charge of the first couple points, the first game, the second game, so that you're up, and you can really feel in charge of this match. Getting a great start is monumental.
The other thing is to be hungry rather than be full. I know some people go out on the court, and they want to feel like they're really had a good meal, they've had their hydration, but it's better to be hungry than to be full. When you get off the court and you enjoy your when you can have a nice meal. Being hungry makes you light on your feet. And I feel like that's helped me a lot.
The other thing is to have a good general plan of how you want a point to start and finish. Just like a chess match, you want to feel like you know what you're doing, you know how you want to construct the point, it may not go that way. But you have a good idea and you have a plan, you can be very versatile and you can be flexible if it doesn't go that way. But drawing it up is not a bad idea. The next one is to look for weaknesses early. It shouldn't take you one set to find out what's wrong, or what's not going well. Where did easy games come from? Where are your opponent's strengths? What kind of player? Are they? Do they hit winners? Are they steady? Are they a player that makes errors if you just hang in there with them? Isolate this information so that you can pull it out at important times. The idea of whether they want short or long points is kind of like reading their body type. Are they an endurance runner? Or they're going to go the distance? Or are they a sprinter, they want it short and over with? You can accommodate your game style based on what you can see and look at and their game style. Why did they get there? There's a reason why they got to this court at this match in this tournament. Do they have great footwork? Do they have a weapon? Are they super athletic, start looking at all these things while you're walking to go get the ball.
When you get ready to play your point all of that off of your mind. And you're going to play how you know how to play the game. As you play the match, walk with confidence, your shoulders back, go slower. If you're losing, speed up if you're winning. Some people take a break when they're winning. I'm not sure why you really want to keep going keep that momentum for you. Don't let your opponent know you're tired, frustrated or disgusted. It's very difficult to play against someone who never gets upset, who is always calm and cool and collected. The next tool is to attack the weaknesses like a dead animal Don't feel bad about exposing their weaknesses. I feel like some players hit to my weakness one or two times. And then they go back to my strength. I want to make sure that when I'm playing my opponent that I hit to their weaknesses over and over and over again, I'm not afraid to do that. That's what anyone would do to find the weakness and attack it.
Sometimes you're the teacher out there, and you know what you're doing. Sometimes you're the student. If you're the student, you've got to learn on your feet and you've got to get it quick and being warmed up having a plan, looking for weaknesses, looking for what kind of strengths your opponent has all can be really helpful in turning a match around in your favor.