Tennis preparation: how to manage a big event?

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François Lansade, tennis coach at the French Haute Vienne Comité for almost 20 years, has had great experiences with his players. Let’s have a look at a national team final and the lessons to be learned from the management of such an event for tennis players

Promoting significant results to maintain the motivation of the players and boost their investment to generate more performance is a fundamental factor in a learning process.

A final is always a special event

Thus, in March 2014, my team Emma DUCOURTIEUX and Estelle COMMERY qualified for the ½ National Finals 15/16 years by team in Sucy en Brie; After winning against the TC DENAIN 3/0 in the semifinal thanks to a good participation of another player in doubles, the team opens the way to the final the next day.

Sharing excitement and tension, the team tackles this final against TC Fontenay under the eyes of many spectators, supporters but also Henri LECONTE, sponsor of these Interclubs.

Estelle, failing to relax despite her motivation, bows on the first single; Emma, ​​after a heroic match, pulls out to win 7/6 in the 3rd set after a huge fight. The management of key moments, and team spirit will be necessary to afford the doubles title; I will have to take on myself, manage my emotions so as to communicate only positive to the players and making them feel serenity ... not easy!

Nervous matches, strong emotions

The match is hanging, the tension is extremely palpable; the game oscillates between high-quality game sequences and unusual direct mistakes ... the eye contacts between the coaches and their players, the encouragement, and the perpetual tactical adaptation reinforce the feeling that we are witnessing a unique moment.

In the end, the 7/6 7/6 loss is hard to accept; we will take long weeks to recover from this weekend full of strong emotions.

However, in hindsight, bringing a generation to this type of results is a satisfaction, it reflects the efforts undertaken through the coach / training relationship; the mental management of this type of event is not insignificant; this will serve them in their future competitions as well as in the management of their adult lives.

And the following year, the LBFT team will finish in 3rd place at these French Championships .... !

It is obvious that the management of the important moments and the ability of the players to play these points with determination, concentration and relaxation while controlling their emotions, is crucial.

What are the lessons to be learned?

Tennis lesson

The implementation of automated tactical and mental schemes and mastered during training should allow the player to reassure themselves at these key moments; clarity is the central point of the realization of these situations; indeed, the relationship between inhibited behavior and disproportionate risk taking will lead to clairvoyance. Very difficult in a situation of intense stress!

The training sequences, emphasizing the management of break points, must promote the control of the players' emotions to better address these situations of tension; the introduction of behavioral and tactical routines will undoubtedly allow the player to find some comfort and to approach these points with more confidence.

Regarding my players, they have managed this season to reach the 2nd National division; no doubt that this type of experience has made them stronger!

Francois lansade Coach

François LANSADE

"Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard"

Tennis Coach Tennis VIENNA HIGH COMMITTEE since 1999.

Sports Director of LEGRAND BAS FARGEAS TENNIS.

Trainer of players competing at French Team National level