WHY IS ANZ HOT SHOTS MATCHPLAY IMPORTANT?
ANZ Hot Shots Matchplay is undisputedly one of the most essential aspects of any tennis player’s development in the sport. When we encourage students to play matches, there is very good reason for this. Ultimately, it is the difference between players who really excel in their tennis and those stagnate.
When players first start to compete in form of ANZ Hot Shots Matchplay, it is a common belief that the person with the better technique is supposed to defeat the opponent with the poorer technique. However, this is often not the case. At the junior and even elite level, it is a common situation to witness a player who has not spent a lot of time focusing on their technique, but rather on matches - defeat a player who has spent countless of hours refining the way their strokes look (through drill based approaches) and a minimum amount of time actually playing. The explanation for this is simple; the more matches you play, the more likely it is that you will excel when it comes to playing matches.
The truth is this – the player who has spent more time on court playing matches with everyone and anyone, before they have even learnt to hold a racket properly, is likely to defeat the player who has had lessons for a term or two, but never played a match in their life. Ultimately, this is because tennis is a cognitive sport. The more time someone spends on court playing matches, the more they are learning to construct points in their head and learning to problem solve. In lessons, the problem solving is minimal, because students are often told what to do and how to do it. So when players who have only ever had tennis lessons, are placed in a match-based situation, they struggle. With this being said, we are not saying that tennis lessons are not necessary, in fact, they are absolutely fundamental, but for someone who truly wishes to excel in the sport, match play is equally as important, if not, even more important, and it is a part of the process that cannot be missed, if a player wishes to take their tennis to the next level and keep improving.