Physical fitness is one of the most important things in a match game. Sharpness can only be achieved when the physical, mental, and nervous systems are in harmony. Consistent and systematic training is very important for tournament players.
Regular hours of sleep and regular, healthy meals at regular times are necessary to keep the body operating at peak performance. Food is very important. Eat well but not too much, especially just before playing. I believe in a big, tasty breakfast on Big Game Day. It must be taken by nine-thirty. Modest lunch at one when playing at three. Don’t eat a very heavy meal at lunchtime as this tends to slow you down on the course. Don’t risk indigestion, which is eyesight’s worst enemy. A big, heavy meal right before retirement is bad because you tend to get too “bloggy” in the field the next day.
It is wrong to touch alcoholic beverages of any kind during tournament play. Alcohol is a poison that affects the eyes, mind, and wind, three important things in tennis. Tobacco in moderation does little harm but pleases the eye and the wind. A man facing a long tournament season should avoid alcohol or tobacco of any kind. Excess of any kind is bad for the physical condition and should not be dismissed as accidental.
Staleness is the big enemy of players who play long seasons. This is a case of too much tennis. Staleness is rarely physically exhausting. A player can always regain their powers by resting. Staleness is mental fatigue from worrying too much or paying too much attention to tennis and not enough variety of thought. The symptoms are an aversion to the game of tennis and its surroundings, and a lack of interest in the game when you are on the court.
I recommend taking a break from training at such a moment. Go to the theater or a concert and completely take your mind off tennis. Take care of your tennis worries while you play it and forget the inconveniences of a bad game when you’re off the court. Always have an outside interest that you can use to relax during the tournament, But don’t let it interfere with your tennis game when you need to focus on your game. A fine balance is difficult to achieve, but once achieved it is of great help to tournament players.
Training laws must be followed before and after the game. Don’t freeze before the game, it makes you stiff and sluggish. Above all, do not stand uncovered after the game if you are overheated or if you catch a cold.
Many players become arthritic from wasting time at the end of their game instead of taking a warm bath. That slight stiffness the next day could spell defeat. A bad cold can mean a serious illness. Don’t risk it.
Replace your wet clothes with dry ones between games if you play twice a day. This will make you feel better and also avoid the risk of catching a cold. Tournament players have to sacrifice some fun for success. Practice will win a man many games if he sticks to it. Frantic training is useless and should not be attempted.
A player’s condition tends to dictate their mental vision and helps them adjust to the external conditions of the game.
All game players should know something about the phenomenon of spectator psychology because, as in the case of the Church-Murray game I described some time ago, spectators can play a significant role in the outcome.
It rarely pays to let you down. It always pays to gain sympathy. By that, I don’t mean playing on the gallery, as that would have the opposite effect than desired.
The gallery is always something for weaker players. The point here is to help the “loser”. If you’re a consistent winner, you need to make it a habit for the gallery to show bias toward your opponents. That’s not your dislike. It was just a natural reaction in favor of the losers. Sometimes a bad decision in a play wins the audience’s sympathy for it. Galleries are only in their desires, although sometimes their emotions get carried away with it.
Despite the effect on the gallery, here’s what I want to say: if you’re the favorite in a decision you know is wrong, try to match it as best you can by quietly dropping the next point. Don’t hit the ball over the backstop or into the bottom goal with a merry “Here we go.” Just squeeze a little out or into the web and go about your business as usual. Your opponent always knows when you give them that justice and they appreciate it even when they don’t expect it. Never do it for effect. The taste is very bad. Only do it if your sense of justice tells you to.
The crowd protested, and rightly so, showing the true spirit of the pitch. A player who has lost his mind should expect a poor reception from the gallery. A questionable decision by a player only puts him in a bad position with the crowd and cannot change the point. You may know the call is wrong, but smile, and the crowd will join you. These things are the essence of good sportsmanship, and good sportsmanship will win over any gallery. The most unattractive player in the world gains the respect and admiration of the audience by showing real sportsmanship during the test.
Any player who enjoys game after game will always be a good sportsman because there is no entertainment in a game that does not give rights to its opponent. A player playing for the excitement of the game wins the crowd the first time they step onto the court. The whole world loves optimistic people.