I hear this advice time and time again from tennis coaches. But it often seems so darn hard to remember! Especially in pressure moments or simply after several hours of play when the mind tends to get fatigued and reverts to old habits.
What they mean is if, during the midst of play, you don’t know where you want to hit the ball, whether you want to come to net or stick to the baseline, what kind of serve you want to hit, and so on, you’re in trouble. This is almost a guaranteed recipe for making lots of mistakes and miss hits on the court.
What’s worse, you’re initial reaction to poor performance is likely to be focused too much on technique, which may not be the main issue at all.
Tomaz Mencinger, a veteran instructor from Slovenia, home of a number of world-class players, discusses this point really well in his post on the #1 Thing In Tennis You Must Never Forget: Intention.