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Dr. Allen Fox: “Plan B, The Ultimate Weapon”

3. March 2014

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Dr. Allen Fox: “Plan B, The Ultimate Weapon”

What happens if you can’t conjure up a Plan A strategy that gives you an obvious game plan edge over your opponent? Then you go to Plan B, which relies on a wearing-away process. We all have limited reserves of willpower, and we can only withstand stress and concentrate for so long. Plan B relies on the fact that you can win matches by exhausting your opponents mentally. Most people can concentrate pretty well for 30 minutes, but few can keep it up for hours. So even if you see no glaring weaknesses at first, 2 hours later, when your opponents’ minds have tired and their wills have dissipated, their games may leak like sieves.

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Stefanie Mullen: “10 Things Parents of Athletes Need to Know”

20. December 2013

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Stefanie Mullen: “10 Things Parents of Athletes Need to Know”

I have seen some things on the sidelines over the years that would give you nightmares. Casts being sawed off, coaches going to blows, parents screaming obscenities at the other teams fans. U.G.L.Y. We have all gotten way too emotionally involved in our kids sports. We have forgotten that it’s about the the kids and the lessons, the journey if you will, not the end point.I have an 18 year old now. He is playing D1 lacrosse for an east coast college and I couldn’t be prouder of him. My 16 yo is committed to a college on the east coast to play as well in 2015. One thing I know for sure is this. They did it. Not us. No amount of screaming, calling coaches, forcing practices would have mattered if they didn’t want it. It was our goal to be supportive, try and embarrass them as little as possible and give them the tools they needed to achieve their dreams. But they had to fight for those dreams. Not us.

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Allen Fox: “Relaxation Helps Power and Speed”

16. December 2013

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Allen Fox: “Relaxation Helps Power and Speed”

I was watching a show on ESPN about famed pro football coach, Bill Walsh, who was particularly notable for his success in producing great quarterbacks (Joe Montana, San Francisco 49er Hall of Famer, amongst others). In describing Walsh’s techniques, one young quarterback told of how Walsh stood directly behind him in an early practice session and kept telling him to throw the ball “easier.” As he mastered the ability, under pressure, to throw the ball “easier,” the young man commented that it made his passes more accurate in addition to making the ball easier for his receivers to catch. What, you may ask, does this have to do with tennis? A great deal, it turns out.

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Allen Fox: “Personality and The Tennis Champions”

15. November 2013

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Allen Fox: “Personality and The Tennis Champions”

When I was working on my first book, “If I’m the Better Player, Why Can’t I Win?”, I became interested in how tennis champions differed in personality from ordinary people. (As opposed to simply being superior physical athletes.) To answer this I administered personality tests to 26 highly-ranked tennis professionals. The test was called the Cattell 16 PF test and, with 180 questions, measures a number of “personality factors.” Each is measured along a continuum such as suspicious vs., trusting, dominant vs. submissive, anxious vs. calm. They were by no means all the same mentally but there were several characteristics in which, as a group, they showed statistically significant differences from the average person.

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Allen Fox: “Never Allow Your Opponent To Obtain Momentum”

6. November 2013

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Allen Fox: “Never Allow Your Opponent To Obtain Momentum”

Points tend to be won and lost in streaks. This happens because the players winning them start to feel good and play better while the players losing them start to feel bad and play worse. When the game is going against you there is a natural tendency to rush around, make errors, and not play points one at a time with sufficient diligence to arrest the slide. Allowing your opponents to get “hot” like this opens you up to losing a lot of games in a hurry, so you want to do everything in your power to disrupt their momentum as quickly as possible. Slow down when you are behind. Your first thought, when points start to tumble against you, should be to slow the match down. I’m not suggesting you become deliberately disruptive and unsportsmanlike by strolling around stalling and tying your shoes. I just mean you should take a few extra seconds between points to gather yourself together and allow your opponent to wait a little and think.

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Allen Fox: “Beware of Excuse-making”

25. October 2013

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Allen Fox: “Beware of Excuse-making”

Hard-fought, dragged out tennis matches often become stressful. We want to win but fear we might not. One means of escaping the pressure to win is by making excuses. As bad as losing is, it doesn’t seem so bad if it’s not our fault.

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