College Prep Yale Showcase 2011 Tour - Day 7 at Yale

Benny Lin
Founder & Academy Director

College Prep Yale Showcase 2011 Tour - Day 7 at Yale

Posted at : July 05, 2011

We arrived at Yale University around 9:30 am. Yale University will be the battle ground for the next 3 days. This morning when we had our morning practice I reminded the kids the importance to acclimatize to the court surface, surroundings and climate here in New Haven. However the most important thing was I wanted the kids to feel good about the courts/venue. Therefore it is very important during our first practice session at Yale the kids are not too hard on themselves if they do not play well. Usually players will perform better if they can create a feel-good feeling for the venue. That’s why today’s first practice is very important to create that feel-good feeling and I told the kids specifically to quickly forget any mistakes and focus on the next shot. And because the showcase is just around the corner, I asked the kids to work on short points.

In the afternoon while I was coaching the showcase players the kids played more points. They hit for about 90 minutes and some hit more than 90 minutes. The kids mostly worked on structuring and finishing a point.

In the evening during our meeting I could see that some of our kids were extremely nervous or too nervous and thus I was worried they may not be able to perform normally tomorrow. This is the worst thing that could happen to any tennis player – not able to perform up to their ability. Some of the kids here I could clearly see putting too much pressure and expectations on themselves and this is very, very unhealthy. Pressure is good but too much will only disable or sabotage our performance.

So to help the kids feel less pressured, I told the kids that we can’t control the outcome of the match and we can’t control our performance on the court (whether we can play good tennis or not). The only thing that we can control is our 100% effort. I also explained to the kids if they could give 100% effort, win or lose, played good or bad tennis, they will walk out the court as a winner in my eyes, and they should feel the same. Sometime kids give themselves too much pressure by just thinking about the end goal which is winning or playing great tennis, and this could be fatal as this kind of mind set added unnecessary pressure for themselves. When Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal took the court for the final at Wimbledon all they had in their mind was fight until their very last breath. The fact is both winning and playing well are something that is out of our control – so why worry so much about something that we cannot control? Instead we should focus all our energy into fighting for every single ball! Giving 100% effort is something that we can control at ALL time and we should expect that from ourselves every time we step our feet on the battle ground – just like Roger and Rafa.

Tomorrow the girls will start their matches. I wish them good luck and hope they will impress some coaches. I have posted new pictures on our facebook page.

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