Gene’s Tip of the Month: Are you a choker?

Choking.  We all hear about it, we all do it.  Accept that YOU WILL CHOKE at some point in a match or in your tennis life.  Accept it.  Choking does NOT make you a choker.  Please resist the urge to label yourself a choker because you choke at times.  Everyone chokes.  How you handle a choke is what separates the champions from the never-heard-froms.
Does anyone think Jimmy Connors was a choker?  No.  Does anyone think Ivan Lendl was a choker?  No.  Both of these tennis legends were labeled chokers.  Connors labeled himself a choker in a match I watched by grabbing his neck and sticking out his tongue.  Lendl was labeled “choker” by the media during his first 5 years as a pro.  Neither player let that stigma stick and the results speak for themselves.  We all choke.
The next them you miss a lay-up volley, give yourself a break.  Forgive yourself and make up your mind to be consistent on the next point.  You might even find that forgiving yourself leads to less choking and more winning.


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