View Full Version : Article : Sharapova shows value of recycling focus after every point

Aug 4th, 2004, 07:47 AM
By HOWIE BURNETT, Special to the Eagle
August 4, 2004

Take a lesson from Maria Sharapova, the new women's Wimbledon champion.

I don't mean you should try to hit like her. You'd most likely sprain something and never get any balls in the court.

I mean you should watch her recycle her focus after every point and stay in the present.

Whether you won or lost the last point, begin the next point as though it is the most important point of your life.

You don't need to be the cool character that Roger Federer is.

You can show emotion and still succeed. Go ahead and pump your fist after you win a really tough point. Give yourself a little positive critique after netting an easy one.

The key is to treat the winner or the error as history within five or 10 seconds of the end of the point.

Watching Sharapova at Wimbledon was a clinic in competitive focus. You could watch her go from elation or disappointment to acceptance, and then to the next task at hand, all in a very detailed process she had practiced thousands and thousands of times.

The ability to refocus your energy and play each point fresh is a skill that is accessible to every player in the game, from pro to beginner. But it takes practice, just like developing a new racket skill.

Once it's over, it's over! File it away and start with a fresh page on every single point you play.

Howie Burnett is a member of the United States Professional Tennis Association and tennis director at the Island Country Club on Marco Island. Burnett welcomes questions on strokes, tactics or etiquette. To reach him, call the tennis shop at 394-4464 or e-mail him at islandclubtennis@hotmail.com (islandclubtennis@hotmail.com).

link : http://www.naplesnews.com/npdn/ma_sports/article/0,2071,NPDN_14926_3085159,00.html

lakan kildap
Aug 4th, 2004, 08:37 AM
I've read something similar. This is only a partial article:

Russian steel helps Sharapova forge women's revolution

Richard Williams
Monday July 5, 2004
The Guardian

No one could miss the salient features of the game that made Maria Sharapova the new Wimbledon ladies' champion on Saturday. The imposing serve, the unrelenting desire to hit the chalk with every drive and the urgent speed with which she covers the width of the baseline were there for all to see. Only in close-up, however, does the really telling detail reveal itself. Look at her fingers and you will see that, however radiant her smile, the nails of this 17-year-old Russian girl are bitten to the quick.

As she took the title from Serena Williams on Saturday afternoon, a lot of people woke up to the fact that Sharapova is the real thing. But her fingernails had already been telling the story. She may have a contract with a model agency but this is no would-be catwalk queen who fills the hours during rain delays by getting out her pots and brushes and giving herself a manicure. For all her considerable beauty, this is a young woman with the priorities that made champions of Maria Bueno, Billie Jean King and Steffi Graf.

Somewhere out there, someone - possibly Clive James, who once expressed a desire to be bathed in the sweat of Gabriela Sabatini - is already writing a poem about Sharapova. It might start with a description of the moment when she tosses the ball up to serve and, as it reaches it apogee, a line through her left arm and right leg forms a perfect perpendicular. Or with the intensity of her preparation for each point, in the way she walks back towards the stop-net, frowning as she pauses to refocus her thoughts before turning to face her opponent, eyes narrowed.

Beauty is to be found there, for sure, and in many dimensions, to be envied by those who had it in one form but not in others. What really marks out Maria Sharapova, however, is the sheer strength of her will...[rest of article snipped]


Obviously, this is not the Richard Williams that Serena calls father, but a namesake writer.

Aug 4th, 2004, 02:06 PM
There is no doubt that Maria's mental strength is one of the strongest assets in her game. The ability to remain focused on every point is an important one. It is one of the abilities that helped take her to the Wimbledon crown.

Aug 4th, 2004, 02:48 PM
Nice article! :)

Aug 4th, 2004, 02:51 PM
There is no doubt that Maria's mental strength is one of the strongest assets in her game. The ability to remain focused on every point is an important one. It is one of the abilities that helped take her to the Wimbledon crown.
Yep thats right.
Many of Maria's great points in the final were played on Break points or at times where she really needed to win the point.
The pressure would get to most players and they'd go into their shell a bit in those situations.

Aug 4th, 2004, 02:56 PM
Thats true! :D