Meaning of concentration in tennis
“I know at these moments what I have to do. I think my concentration is good. My endurance too. Endurance : thats’s a big word. Keeping going phyically, never letting up, and putting up with everything that comes my way, not allowing the good or bad- the great shots or the weak ones, the good luck or the bad- to put me off track. I have to be centered, no distractions, do what I have to do in each moment. If I have to hit a ball twenty times to Federer’s backhand, I’ll hit it twenty times, not nineteen. If I have to wait for the rally to stretch to ten shots or twelve or fifteen to bide my chance to hit a winner, I’ll wait. there are moments when you have a chance to go for winning drive , but you have 70 percent chance of succeeding; you wait five shots more and your odds will have improved to 85 percent. So be alert, be patience, don’t be rash.
If I go up to teh net, I hit to his backhand, not to his drive, his strongest shot. Losingyour concentration means going to the net and hitting teh ball to his forehand, or omitting in a rush of blood to serve to his backhand- always to his backhand – or going for a winner when it’s not time. Being concentration means keeping doing what you know you have to do, never changing your plans, unless teh circumstances of a rally or the game changes exceptionally enough to warrant a surprise. It means discipline, it means holding back when the temptation arises to go for droke. Fighting the temptation means keeping your patience or frustration in check.”
- Rafael Nadal just before the start of the 2008 Wimbledon Final against Roger Federer