Throw Away Shots

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Let me talk to you about “Throw Away” Shots in a match. One way to define success is to win the point. You can win the point with 1, 2, 3, or 20 shots (which doesn’t happen very often). Now 20 shots are unlikely but 0 – 8 is typical.

You’re playing for 1 point but there is not a lot of emphasis on each shot. There’s not an urgency to play each shot because I want to win the point. You’ve got to stay in the moment of executing 1, 2 Re-set. You’re emphasis when you do this isn’t on winning the point, it’s on making shots! Specifically 2 shots in a row.

Two shots in a row lines up with the data. In 6 out of 10 points, the points end in 0 – 4 shot rally length. Another 2 shots for each player gives you 8 shots which is 9 out of 10 points you’ll ever play. Don’t worry about the 1 point out of 10 that rarely happens that go past 8 shots.

Focus on right when the points begins. Right when it starts it’s about to end. In the beginning, there is the end.

If you only focus on winning the point, you can have “Throw Away” shots. You can randomly spray shots.

You have “Throw Away” shots because you’re not thinking, you want 1 shot to set up your 2nd shot. You’re not thinking about finishing a point with 2 shots or more. You’re thinking let’s just end the point there. You hit it as hard as you can with very little decision making. You hit a deep ball which pushes your opponent behind the baseline, they give you a very short ball and all you have to hit is a drop-shot. Instead you hit an 80 mph forehand into the back fence.

You have to understand a point is won by a series of smart shots, making good decisions.

The key is making 2 shots, reset, then hitting 2 shots, reset. Within that, playing catch and keep away.  Sometimes you have to play catch because you’re in trouble and you want to make the shot.  When you have the opportunity, you play keep away.

You can Run, Reverse, or Cage them.

You’re so focused on winning a point, not focused on running patterns or trying to get the opponent out of position.

You can’t get too far ahead or stuck in the past when you lose or win a point.  You’ve got to let it go.

This is how you win every time you play.

The score is one small measurement of success. We’ve made it the “be all, end all” of success.

An ultimate success is you come off the court and you gave it all you got at that moment in time, then you say to yourself,

“I’m going to play and practice harder.”