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Between Point Routine (BPR)

Between Point Routine (BPR)

The following routine, if done in its entirety, will do the following:

1) Increase concentration
2) Increase consistent play
3) Increase enjoyment
4) Increase the rate of learning and improvement
5) Decrease pressure
6) Decrease choking
7) Decrease unforced errors

As soon as the point or rally is over, whether you won or lost it, do the following:

Do: Turn – Switch Racket – Focus Eyes – Breathe/Relax
Think: Visualize Last – Positive Words – Visualize Next

Explanation of the Physical Part of the Routine

1. Turn Away: As soon as the point ends, turn and walk away making sure to keep your posture (shoulders, face,
etc.) positive. This positive behavior is the most important part of the ritual. It starts everything else in motion.
a. After a point you won, it makes you feel more confident (add fist pumps after crucial points).
b. After a point you lost, it keeps you from showing negatives (remember not to stare at the error).

2. Switch Racket: From your dominant hand to your non dominant hand, and hold by the throat, so the racket
head stays up. This allows your dominant hand to relax, which will make a big difference during tough matches.
Also, if your racket is in your NON DOMINANT hand, you won’t be tempted to bang the court with it or throw it.
Last, since the racket head is up, you’ll portray a positive look to your opponent.

3. Focus Eyes: Keep your eyes on your strings, the ball, the ground or your opponent. Remember, your thoughts
follow your eyes. If you’re looking at the match next to you or who’s watching your match, you’re not focusing
on your match and unforced errors will occur.

4. Breathe/Relax: Unforced errors often occur because of muscles that are too tight. Also, fatigue and many
injuries happen because of improper muscle tightness. Taking deep breaths and relaxing major muscle groups
can prevent these problems.

Explanation of the Mental Part of the Routine

1. Visualize Last: As soon as the point ends; if you made an error change the picture in your mind to a good shot,
if you just hit a good shot, visualize it going in again. Each time you visualize a shot, your “neural pathways”
(pathways for impulses that tell your muscles what to do) are strengthened!

2. Positive Words: Next, think about a constructive word that will direct your thoughts. Examples are: RELAX,
FOCUS, STRINGS, REACT, POSITIVE, FLOW, PRESENT, FIGHT, etc. You can also pretend you’re talking to your
doubles partner by saying things like: Good effort, Keep working hard, Next point, One at a time, High
percentage shots, Calm down, Stay tough, Keep fighting back, etc.

3. Visualize Next: Last, picture in your mind what you want to do for the first shot of the next point. You might
visualize where you’ll serve or what strategy you’re going to use.

Note: Master the physical part of the ritual first, then add the visualizing, and finally, add the positive words.

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