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Tennis tryouts present an opportunity to learn from other players.
Mental preparation for tennis tryouts is essential, because playing the game successfully requires sharp mental ability. Going into tryouts with a lack of confidence allows your opponent to intimidate you. Overconfidence, on the other hand, can lead to careless playing or, even worse, total panic when the opponent you expected to blow away has an effective response to every one of your shots. Have a positive attitude and approach them not only as a contest but also as a learning experience.
Practice Under Pressure
Repetition of any exercise will almost always result in improved performance. Tennis tryouts involve playing under pressure, so the more often a player has competed in pressure situations, the more mentally prepared he or she will be during tryouts. Playing in United States Tennis Association (USTA) tournaments, local club tournaments or matches against a friend or family member is the best way keep the competitive spirit up and the nerves down in pressure situations.
Watch the Pros
Professional tennis players -- they're just like us. They miss shots they've put away a thousand times. They double-fault and hit the ball long. Catching a few matches of professional tennis on television or online during the week before tryouts can help fine tune players' mental preparation by reminding them that even the most skilled players commit unforced errors. Paying attention to how a pro recovers from an error, how they handle a questionable call and how they mentally regroup when their strategy isn't working will prepare a player to get through rough spots during challenge matches.
In the days before tryouts, when it's too late to overhaul your forehand, there is nothing worth worrying about except staying healthy. If the day has been spent practicing, players should take the evening to unwind. Relax in a warm bath, listen to upbeat music and stay focused on positive thoughts. Instead of visualizing the tryouts, visualize the day they announce you've made the team.
When mentally preparing for tryouts, remember you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. For players who've trained and vied for a spot on the team, tryouts are a goal met. Tennis tryouts also offer many of the same benefits as a free clinic. Several days of matches will test all areas of a player's mental and physical game and present an opportunity to learn from other players. Players will come away from tennis tryouts better prepared to meet their next tennis challenge.