10 Coronavirus Controllables

In order to be able to focus on the things that are important, we first must clear our minds of the things that seem urgent. With this pandemic going on right now I’ve developed 10 Coronavirus Controllables to help others be able to control their controllables and not focus on or worry about the uncontrollables.

If you’d like a free .pdf file of the 10 tips listed above please email angelo @ tennacity .org. You may also find value in my book TENNACITY: The Tenacious Mindset On & Off the Court is available online Softcover color on Amazon and Hardcover & softcovers on BarnesandNoble.

You can learn more about a couple of tennis GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ that I have been a part of:

Our Inspiration – 2 World Records 2 Minute Video
FOX News Story
MSNBC News Story
Inspirational Tennis Story: Tennis Begins with Love

If you found this article of value please consider joining my newsletter by emailing angelo @ tennacity .org or making a donation to Save the Children. Otherwise, please share this article so that we can educate, inform and inspire others.
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10 Coronavirus Controllables

My Book – TENNACITY: The Tenacious Mindset On & Off the Court

If you are interested in my upcoming new book TENNACITY: The Tenacious Mindset On & Off the Court, or if you’d like to learn about The 3-2-1 Method for teaching & learning please complete the form below.

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My Book – TENNACITY: The Tenacious Mindset On & Off the Court

Dynamic Win Probability

20181028_190808

1/3 = 100%

This equation may not seem correct. It isn’t correct to a mathematician but for high-level tennis players it most certainly is accurate.

Tennis has unique scoring. Even if you win more points or more games you may not win the match. Scoring isn’t cumulative for the entire contest like most sports. Every point is not created equal. Therefore, it’s not just how many points you win but which points you win that usually separates winning and losing. Having the right mindset before you start your point is critical to success in tennis. This match charting shows the win probability as a game goes on. Just like the Patriots in Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons where their win probability fluctuated throughout the game and was anything but certain until the last play of the game, with the Pats winning 34-28. Tennis is the same way. When you are up, do what you did that got you there or put another way, “dance with the person who brought you to the dance.”

John Hopkins Krieger School of Arts & Sciences Dept of Biology Robert Schleif

 

Super Bowl LI win probability graph (via @ESPNStatsInfo)

If you are up 40-LOVE, then all you need to do is win 33% of the remaining points or one of the next three points and you will win the game 100% of the time. Likewise, when you’re up 40-15, then you just need to win 50% or one of the next two points to win the game 100% of the time. If you are at 40-30 then you need to win two of the next three points or 67% of the remaining points to win the game 100% of the time. And finally, when you are at deuce, you need to also win two of the next three points or 67% of the remaining points to win the game 100% of the time. This does not take into account the ability level of both players or teams nor does it consider a player’s particular strengths (either front-runners or players who play solid when down). But the importance in understanding this foundation fact for tennis scoring lies in your mindset approach to playing the point. For example, at 40-LOVE, going for an ace is overkill and quite frankly and unnecessary risk, contrary to popular belief. You just need to play with low risk, high win probability – just enough to win one of the next three points. This whole concept is where I like to say “Moneyball meets the Inner Game.”

Knowing the proper percentages to win points, games, and sets will win you matches. Your mindset dictates how you’re going to start playing the point. The same holds true for when you are down but that gets a bit more complicated. When you are down LOVE-40, then you need to win five of the next six points with the important caveat that you need to win three in a row to get to deuce. If you are down 15-40, then you need to win four of the remaining six points which includes the first two in a row as a necessity. Finally, when you are down 30-40, you must win three of the next four points including the first point as a must-win point.

This same metric holds true for the set score. If you are up five games to zero (5-0), then all you need is to win 20% of the remaining games or one of the next five to win the set 100% of the time. If you are up 5-1, then you just need to win one of the remaining four games of the set or 25% to close out the set 100% of the time. If up 5-2, then all you need to do is win 33% of the remaining points or one of the next three and you will win the set 100% of the time. Likewise, when you’re up 5-3, then you just need to win 50% or one of the next two games to win the set 100% of the time. If you are at 5-4 in the set, then you need to win two of the next three games or 67% of the remaining games to win the set 100% of the time (assuming you lost the first game). And finally, when you are at 5-5 you need to win two of the next three games (one “game” being the tiebreak) or 67% of the remaining games to win the set 100% of the time. This assumes nothing about player level.

Why is this so important? Because the human mind cannot maintain concentration for an entire tennis match. Knowing which points you need to really apply your focus on and also what to focus on at the beginning of these points will be critical to your success and a huge advantage for you. For example, taking risk when you are up for 40-0 would be unnecessary. Winning those games any less than 100% of the time would be unacceptable in my opinion. Knowing that you have to play in such a way that will win you 33% of the remaining points gives you the mindset to create a road map for victory.

If players think “I’m ahead, I have nothing to lose” then they will be sorely mistaken as you do have something to lose – the lead. When you are down is when you having nothing to lose as you will lose if you don’t change something. Current ATP Tour world #1 Novak Djokovic said “Tennis is a mental game. Everyone is fit, everyone hits great forehands and backhands.” I completely agree. Knowing what mindset to play with based on the game or set score is critical to your success.

I always welcome feedback at angeloarossetti @ gmail .com. The above content is proprietary. Please ask me for permission to reference or use in any way. I’m a proud Wilson Advisory Staff Member.

You can learn more about a couple of tennis GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ that I have been a part of:

Our Inspiration – 2 World Records 2 Minute Video
FOX News Story
MSNBC News Story
Inspirational Tennis Story: Tennis Begins with Love
If you found this article of value please consider making a donation to Save the Children. Otherwise, please share this article so that we can educate, inform and inspire others.
Make a Donation

If you are interested in my upcoming new book TENNACITY: The Tenacious Mindset On & Off the Court, please complete the form below.

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Dynamic Win Probability

Focus on the Cure not on the Cause

20180903_122352The expression goes you are what you eat. In sports and in tennis you are what you focus on. If you focus on diagnosing your problem then the problem will occur more frequently because that’s what you are visualizing and thinking about. What you did wrong. You want to focus on the cure. Have the cure be your present. Have the cure be your primary focus and your secondary or peripheral focus should be the cause or problem or weakness or illness.

Rather than be a doctor who tries to determine what your illness is, focus on the medication. Say, for example, you are hitting your serve into the net. Rather than focus on that fact, focus on the placement of your toss. Placing the toss slightly “nearer” to you will open up the racquet face on contact, enabling the ball to clear the net. Pivot to the cure from the cause. Report to yourself where the serve is missing only long enough to find and focus on the right cure. Feel free to track where the misses are happening but only in the periphery of your awareness. But if you just try to diagnose your error for too long you will make more errors. You do need to be peripherally aware of the error but right away visualize and imagine the solution. But people and players and competitive athletes want to know what they did wrong. Focus on what you do right and when something goes wrong focus on what you need to do right.

In the third round of the 2018 U.S. Open Nick Kyrgios was playing against Roger Federer. In watching the match, I noticed that Nick was berating himself after missing some first serves. His serve broken for the first time in his last service game of the first set, losing 6-4. Several games AFTER he missed those serves, in the second set, he was muttering to himself about missing those serves in the first set. He had only lost one point on serve in his first 4 service games prior to his mental let down. He was focusing on the cause or problem: missed serves – rather than on the cure – toss adjustment perhaps. Not only that, but it showed he wasn’t staying present when he was playing. He was living in the past with a focus on the cause. Unfortunately, he never recovered from this line of thinking, losing in three straight sets.

And when you lose the first set to a front-runner like Federer typically it’s game over.

Rather than ask yourself or your coach “what did I do wrong” ask “what should I do right.”

Focus on your cures not on your problems and you’ll have a better outlook on and off of the court.

I always welcome feedback at angeloarossetti @ gmail .com. The above content is proprietary. Please ask me for permission to reference or use in any way. I’m a proud Wilson Advisory Staff Member.

You can learn more about a couple of tennis GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ that I have been a part of:

Our Inspiration – 2 World Records 2 Minute Video
FOX News Story
MSNBC News Story
Inspirational Tennis Story: Tennis Begins with Love
If you found this article of value please consider making a donation to Save the Children. Otherwise, please share this article so that we can educate, inform and inspire others.
Make a Donation

If you are interested in my upcoming new book TENNACITY: The Success Mindset On & Off the Court, please complete the form below.

 

 

Focus on the Cure not on the Cause

Compete Like a Boa Constrictor Not a Rattlesnake

snake
A baby boa.

In life there’s a saying that patience is a virtue. In sports, be like a boa constrictor not a rattlesnake. You want to be patient and methodical and wear down your opponent. You don’t just want the quick strike. You want to be silently strategic and not warn your enemy when you are about to strike. In tennis, you want to move the ball side-to-side. Drop shot then lob. Pin your opponent by using your battering ram. Outlast your opponent. Silently build your strategy. Only pull the trigger when you’ve earned it. If you get lucky and hit the lines then you’re happy but not satisfied. You want to be satisfied with ensuring the victory. Ensure winning the point by setting up your shots and then closing out the point.

Hitting a great shot when you earned the setup shot is fine but randomly hitting a great shot, say from a defensive position, can be low percentage and quite frankly lucky. Hope is not a strategy. You don’t want to hit and hope. You want to know. You want to play aggressively consistent or consistently aggressive at 60% to 80% of your power level. You don’t want to be redlining at 100% all of the time because that’s a very high-risk strategy. The equivalent is for you card players out there, hitting in blackjack when you have 17. You want to hit when you have 11 for sure but you don’t want to hit when you have 17 because most of the time you will bust. If you get a four to put you at twenty-one, that was more luck and very high risk.

It’s the equivalent of when Magnus Carlsen, the youngest world champion chess player, plays chess. Although he attacks he has multiple combination moves and protects his King at all times. You want to have high percentage offense. You want to attack with your consistency. You want to attack with your mind. You want to have an offense that you can rely upon that will win you matches and win your points assuredly. When you are defending you are doing so with a purpose. Some people say that grinding it out is boring. I say winning isn’t boring. There are flashy shots that some players hit but those flashy shots over time would be extinguished with a tried-and-true, solid strategy. A rattlesnake quickly goes after their prey and it’s either hit or miss with the snake’s venom. Whereas a boa constrictor carefully and methodically constricts their prey from breathing and, over time, wins. That’s what you want in sports. You want to have high percentage plays to close out games and points rather than the quick winner or unforced error.

Tom Brady does it when quarterbacking for the New England Patriots. When he’s down he doesn’t just throw deep passes but, rather, he builds his offense around high percentage short passes. He goes for 2-point conversions only when absolutely necessary, like the two of them in Super Bowl LI.

You don’t want to show your hand with a rattle. You want to quietly produce a winning game plan. Play with patience. Play with purpose. Play like a boa constrictor not a rattlesnake, and you will win more often. And nothing against rattlesnakes.

I always welcome feedback at angeloarossetti @ gmail .com. The above content is proprietary. Please ask me for permission to reference or use in any way.

You can learn more about a couple of tennis GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ that I have been a part of:

Our Inspiration – 2 World Records 2 Minute Video
FOX News Story
MSNBC News Story
Inspirational Tennis Story: Tennis Begins with Love
If you found this article of value please consider making a donation to Save the Children. Otherwise, please share this article so that we can educate, inform and inspire others.
Make a Donation

If you are interested in my upcoming new book TENNACITY: The Tenacious Mindset On & Off the Court, please complete the form below.

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Snake photo Creative Common License via https://freshideen.com/haustiere/schlangen-als-haustier.html?share=email
Compete Like a Boa Constrictor Not a Rattlesnake

The 0 / 100 Rule

The 0 - 100 Rule (c)
When you have expectations, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
Ryan Reynolds

There’s a victory in letting go of your expectations.
Mike White

I’ve come up with The 0 / 100 Rule in coaching athletes and dealing with expectations from parents bestowed upon them. Even in my brother and my Guinness World Record attempts, this rule applied. It’s a way to reduce and eliminate frustration and focus on the controllables, like effort level. 0 stands for the expectation level and 100 stands for the % of effort. Going into any competition or contest, you should have zero expectations of the outcome because the outcome is not fully controllable by you. However, giving 100% effort during the contest is very much achievable. As a side bar, some athletes say that they want to give 110% effort, but there’s no such thing as something above 100%, as this is the highest capacity that you have. That simply means that your 100% was really 90% as your 110% is really 100%. But focusing on the controllable of the effort and reducing your expectations to nothing will reduce frustration because frustration is caused by the disparity of your expectation level and your level of performance. The difference is frustration. Whereas, if your performance level is higher than your expectation level, then you have confidence.

I’m not saying that if you have 0 expectations going into competition, that means you try less hard. On the contrary, you shift your focus to something that you can control, which is your effort. Now some would say that you need expectations in order to have achievement. I suggest that these are goals. Goal setting happens before competition not during it. Athletes would have goals set prior to the contest yet focus on the elements that they can control during the competition. Have a goal that you will win; having the belief that you will win and have the expectation that you will win are different things.

Effort is a controllable just like attitude, preparedness, sportsmanship, and teamwork. These are controllables. If you focus on the controllables, like effort, and you are aware that if your expectations are too high, you could have disappointment, you will have the right mindset for competition.

Mindset Moment

The irony about our world record in 2008 was that I was the most nervous after we set the record. While we were still rallying, the goal of mine was not to make a mistake. And we didn’t. I let the ball pass on purpose at a one minute past midnight, so we that we could end up with the identical number of strokes, since I started with the serve. The reason why I was the most nervous after we set the record was that I had an expectation in place that I wasn’t going to make a mistake. Once we set the record, and were simply adding to the record total, I had got very nervous for a moment because I had raised my expectations. I had to lower my expectations and accept whatever the outcome was to shake off my nerves. If a mistake happened, not too bad, we had already captured the world record.

If you constantly check yourself and your level of awareness of your expectations to make sure that your expectations are 0, you will reduce frustration and increase your chance of success.

Minimize frustration and maximize success by using The 0 / 100 Rule.

I always welcome feedback at angeloarossetti @ gmail .com. The above content is proprietary. Please ask me for permission to reference or use in any way.

You can learn more about a couple of tennis GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ that I have been a part of:

Our Inspiration – 2 World Records 2 Minute Video
FOX News Story
MSNBC News Story
Inspirational Tennis Story: Tennis Begins with Love
If you found this article of value please consider making a donation to Save the Children. Otherwise, please share this article so that we can educate, inform and inspire others.
Make a Donation

If you are interested in my new book TENNACITY: The Tenacious Mindset On & Off the Court, please complete the form below.

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The 0 / 100 Rule