Try to WIN vs. let them LOSE


In this video, Master Professional Jorge Capestany discusses the whether you should try to win or let your opponent lose.

Responses (15)

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  1. Karin
    September 7, 2020 at 12:51 am · Reply

    Very Very True

  2. Saji
    October 14, 2017 at 11:11 am · Reply

    I have a 10yr old who loves the defensive game. He loves to create unbelievable angles but still hesitate to attack. Some gritty opponents wear him down because of this and he looses to them. But good attacking player gets tired of hitti g it back as he is of the category of one more shot. Is it worth trying to change this attitude of his or just keep developingnon this tactic? He seriously enjoys the points he wins but get dissapointed when he looses the point. (I used to hate Jim Courier’s style but someway love Nadals style although I personally a fan of serve amd volley game.

    • Jorge Capestany
      November 1, 2017 at 4:53 pm · Reply

      I don’t think I would try to change his style. It is not unusual for a 10 year old to be hesitant to attack. When they come to the net they often get burned with lobs are cannot cover the entire court…. However, it might be helpful to set up some practice situations where he is rewarded for finishing off the points at the net. Maybe play a practice set where every time he finishes at the net he gets two points vs one… it’s a training game that I have used with great success with my players

  3. Karin
    October 10, 2017 at 10:15 am · Reply

    100% AGREED

  4. Glenn Gee
    October 7, 2017 at 11:34 am · Reply

    Getting a good start in a match is always good. If you can get to the 3rd game, even up at 1-1, then the warmup is over and no panic vs being down 0-2 and needing to win serve without going 0-3. I always serve if I win the toss, and I don’t usually go 0-3 after 3 games, but it can happen from time to time.
    Yes, I can tell from warmups if my opponent will give me points or not. If he is inconsistent then, of course, we’ll get a few easy ones from time to time. (I have told that I am very consistent player, but I am more of a net rusher.)

    It is those players who are consistent and have very strong strokes (with no visible weaknesses) that I have problems winning against. But, over the years, I have learned (a little) to change my game a bit to adjust.

    Still, that is the challenge, to problem solve, on the court against an opponent that is equally skilled.
    Thank you for some thoughts on that matter.

    • Jorge Capestany
      November 1, 2017 at 4:54 pm · Reply

      Thanks Glenn

  5. Tom Hopewell
    October 7, 2017 at 2:50 am · Reply

    Hi Jorge, Do you think girls respond better to this strategy than boys? 20 yrs of coaching girls HS tennis I will say yes.I see other coaches have some of the same issues.
    When your team is giving the unforced errors.then it’s mental toughness that’s got to get them back on a smart tennis plan.If only ………
    Thanks, Tom
    Woodstock Athletic Club, Vt

    • Jorge Capestany
      November 1, 2017 at 4:56 pm · Reply

      I haven’t thought about it as a boy versus girl thing before. One possible solution is that (most) boys have more physical strength so they might be more inclined to try the people with power and TAKE the match from someone rather than letting the opponent GIVE it away.

  6. Skip
    October 6, 2017 at 10:09 pm · Reply

    Jorge, as a former girls high school tennis coach, I would tell my players to try and use what I called the 3-5-9 rally approach. I.e. Try to get 3 balls in, if they came back, try to get 5 in, if they all came back, go for 9. Keep,in mind that most of my girls were beginners as freshman. I used the USTA NO CUT TENNIS approach. MY GIRLS Were tennis season only players. Most only played during our tennis season.

    • Jorge Capestany
      November 1, 2017 at 4:56 pm · Reply

      That makes sense Skip. Congrats on your no-cut policy.

  7. Joe Pugliese, Dallas HS Tennis
    October 6, 2017 at 7:49 pm · Reply

    Love it! It has been something I have said to my players before every match. I also stress to get into long rallies to begin a match to help get into a grove.

  8. joel Schwartzl
    October 6, 2017 at 7:05 pm · Reply

    Is it better to try and play tight, to hit a winner.

    Or, is it better to hang back and prevent lobs?

    A doubles question.


    Joel Schwartz

    • Jorge Capestany
      October 6, 2017 at 7:50 pm · Reply

      I think you want to see how the match unfolds. Start out by using your favorite style of play, if it works then change nothing. If it does NOT work, then make a change.

  9. Al
    October 6, 2017 at 5:04 pm · Reply

    Another great point just in time. Been attempting to have my boys understand this, but having another coach tell seemed to have helped.

    Tomorrow’s match will determine if they listened.

  10. Amadou
    October 6, 2017 at 3:55 pm · Reply

    Excellent strategy Jorge!

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