Competitive sports usually boils down to who plays the big points the best. There are a lot of factors that play into winning the deuce points, break points, and tiebreakers. What factors are important for being a “clutch” player?
#1 Self-confidence: No matter what anyone says about your strokes, footwork, etc.; to win in the big moments you have to believe in you! Whenever, I would play a big point in college or even now in a tournament I trust myself and for a second will never doubt myself and that is the most important thing.
#2 Own the Basics: Watch the ball, split step, prep your racket, and move your feet. When a big moment occurs and your mind begins to race, re-focus on what really matters which is the basics and again yourself. If you do the basics well under pressure then you are one step closer to winning those big points.
#3 Play your strengths: Is your best shot your forehand? Backhand? Serve? Volley? The next most important thing is to do what you do best. It is important to look for your opponent’s weakness, however playing your own strength is still more important!
#4 Find your opponent’s weakness: This is very important as well, however everything listed above must come first. If you have Confidence, own the basics, play your strength, and can find your opponent’s weaknesses then you will definitely be on a winning track in crunch time!
Now that you know what to do under pressure… embrace those big moments and use your mind to pull through!