Are you a player or just a hitter?

Are you a player or just a hitter?

Max Grancini

Spot the differenceThis article comes from my daily experience as a coach. In it, we will talk about one of my students, “R,” and the struggles he has faced. I don’t mean to pick on R though, as he is only one of millions of tennis players trying to improve their tennis games. He is simply my teaching tool.

R is a teenage boy with excellent physical abilities and considerable technical knowledge. He has only been playing for three years, but his commitment and intensity have also impressed me.

Unfortunately, R is not a player, but a hitter.

What’s the difference?The difference between hitters and players is often very hard to spot.

However, it is a very important difference.

R (as is so common with many players) often succumbs to nervousness and fear.

Without addressing these issues, R and the players like him will never fulfill his true potential. 

 So let’s look at some of the key differences between players and hitters:πŸ™‚ Players know that winning requires a 100% commitment all of the time, and they always give 100% no matter what. πŸ™ Hitters like to play, but often get bored or frustrated if their opponent has a style of play they don’t like. They then don’t give 100% during the match.πŸ™‚ Players know that errors are part of the game, and can move on from the mistakes they have made. They can also learn from those mistakes.πŸ™ Hitters don’t accept that errors are part of the game. They cannot move on once they’ve made silly mistakes, and spend the whole match being angry with themselves over what they’ve done wrong.πŸ™‚ Players know that bad luck is also just part of the game.

If a ball clips the top of the net and falls on your side, you just have to accept it and move on. It’s not the end of the world, and you can still win the match.
πŸ™ Hitters cannot accept bad luck for what it is.

They dwell on close calls and net chords and let it derail their entire game plan.

πŸ™‚ Players know very well that the opponent is there to win, and if his game is annoying…it is likely that way by design – to annoy you into losing.If you want to win you have to deal with the problem and try to solve it.

Players understand
that if their opponent plays by the rules of the game (hitting the ball over the net and into the court), everything is fine. The rest is not the opponent’s problem…but yours!
πŸ™ Hitters do not accept it when opponents have “weak” or “strange” games. Everything has to be “nice and easy,” else they won’t play.

In conclusion
As you can see, there is a big difference between hitters and players.

However, just because you are a hitter it doesn’t mean you have to stay that way!

You can work on your mental game and become a proper player, it just takes practice and discipline.

Massimiliano Grancini