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Staying Focused

Many years ago a tennis player came to the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy to get back into shape and prepare for the senior tour. His record on the ATP Tour listed him as one of the very best to have ever picked up a racket. I asked him a very simple question "What did you do to be one of the very best?" His answer: "When I walked on the court there was only one thought in my mind and it stayed with me until the final point of the match, I will hit the last ball over the net." Who was that person? Bjorn Borg.

Developing the ability to focus and communicate can be difficult because you must filter out all of the distractions that are around you. People differ in many ways, and throughout my career, I have not found two children or adults that are exactly alike. Yes, we recognize this fact, however I have found some factors that apply to just about everyone. Let's go back several years and point out what some of my students did when they played and how they were able to stay focused:

Monica Seles - She was so focused that at times I thought she was hypnotized! She only saw the tennis ball and she knew exactly where to put it to beat her opponents.

Mary Pierce - Mary was the complete opposite of Monica, she not only had her eyes on the ball but knew where everyone was sitting in the stands. It was to the point where she could tell if they left the stands for a brief time.

Michael Chang - He not only looked to the ball and his opponent but also to the umpire when there was a ball hit close to the line.

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