Tennis Prose



Players Odd Habits Which Bother Performance

Lloyd Harris really impresses me.

Recently I have noticed two professional players perpetually bothering themselves with some very unnecessary minor distractions which seem to be adversely affecting their performance…

Misaki Doi, the lefty from Japan, holds her second ball when serving under her skirt and compression shorts. Every time she needs that ball she has to reach her hand under her dress and compression shorts and grab it and then pull it out to use. She also has to constantly put the extra ball into that awkwardly difficult location. It’s a constant exercise which requires energy and some skill, a draining process she has to perform every time she misses a serve. I think it distracts and bothers her natural rhythm and concentration and she would be a better player if she stopped doing it and just had the ballboy toss her the second ball after the first serve miss.

Lloyd Harris wears a Lotto headband to hold his lion’s mane black hair in place. But he has to adjust, fix and check with his hand, usually his left hand, between almost every point to make sure the band is doing it’s job and is in the proper place. He also spends time with his free hand feeling his hair to make sure it’s all under control by the headband. It looks like a distracting waste of energy and time for Harris. His opponent yesterday in Vienna, Austria, Casper Ruud, also wore a Yonex headband but he never had to fix or adjust it during games, unlike Harris who had to handle his headband and hair between EVERY POINT. Naturally, the more concentrated world no. 8 Ruud won the match 75 76 vs the no. 31 Harris.

Tennis is a sport of total efficiency and eliminating unnecessary movements is paramount to optimum performance.

It would be highly probable if Doi and Harris were able to focus all their energies onto competing and tactics instead of ball handling and headband distrust, they could accomplish even better results.


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