You don’t play one match – you play two.
During The Point
This area is focused on everything to do with hitting the ball. We spend thousands of hours on the practice court so we can succeed here. Even though it is obviously a very important part of the match, it is still not the most important. This really needs to be where the match is played for the second time. The first time the point is previewed in your head and then it is played out in reality the way you want it.
Between The Points
This area focuses on the mental and emotional aspects of your game. We spend almost no time practicing this area but it is absolutely the most important part of the match. How well you think and how well you control your emotions are a monster part of the final outcome. The 25 seconds between the points is your time to strategize and out-think the opponent.
Weakness Between The Points
Imagine for a moment that between the points is a weakness of your game. You are not good mentally or emotionally. It’s basically impossible to screw this area up and then expect to succeed once the point starts. The two areas are very closely aligned. If you are not focused on the game plan, or clearly understand the opponent, then your battle is always going to be uphill.
Strength Between The Points
This is your opportunity to get the upper hand on your opponent. They may have a better forehand, a bigger serve, be faster around the court, but if you think better and control your emotions under pressure then you have bigger weapons than they do. The two biggest weapons you will always have in a tennis match are your head and your heart. In a fairly even battle, these definitely matter more than the strokes.