5 good reasons why the tennis LK (or ITN) is uninteresting

Frank looked anxiously at his Xiaomi smartphone while stowing his Prince racket in the bag.

His tennis colleague Björn immediately asked about the “Wooahhh!”.

Is shipping:

“What’s the matter? Has Rafa lost?”.

Frank replied:

“No, no … Look. The guy who comes on Sunday has LK 8. So’n crap. There’s a lot on the lid for me!”.

Is that so?

Does every LK 8er skin a 12er off the pitch? And, what is even more important:

What (spoilers at this point) disastrous effect does LK-puzzle on one’s performance?

We will now clarify these questions.

What is the tennis LK anyway?
For a few months now, attempts have been made in Germany to divide the performance level of a player into classes.

Players can collect achievements for their ranking. Depending on how good or bad your opponent is in the ranking, there is more or less money on your own LK account. Since October 2020, age and doubles games have also been included in the calculation of the LK. That makes the whole story a bit more flexible. But can the calculation actually be used to determine playing strengths?

We’ll take a look at that later in this article.

A few years ago there were still simple points for a victory over a higher-ranked opponent. Since the LK reform in 2020, this is no longer the case. A mathematical formula was introduced in order to make the principle of LK more “accessible” to all players, which usually causes heads to shake.

Logical, right?!

This reads:

V = G x ( P / H).

No. That doesn’t stand for Vamos = Groundstroke x (Precision / Half-Volleyball).

V stands for the improvement of one’s own LK. The P is the score for a win, which depends on the LK difference between the two players. And the H is the hurdle value. He defines himself through his own LK. And the G is age factor, which is dictated by the age of the opponent.

Now let’s look at why your Tennis LK doesn’t matter. And why it can even be a hindrance if you want to improve as a tennis player in the long term.

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5 good reasons why the tennis course is uninteresting
First of all:

Of course, your LK plays an important role. It decides where you play in the team. Or if you play in a team at all . And yes, of course, your own ego experiences a wellness day when the LK increases. In my work as a mental trainer, however, I have found in recent years that staring greedily at the LK can have a negative impact on one’s own development as a tennis character. I’m just going to assume you want to be a better tennis player.

Your LK is important to you.

That’s all well and good. But the path to a better LK leads you away from staring at it. It takes you to another place that many club players tend to neglect.

This place is your technical, mental and physical development. It doesn’t matter whether you’re 18 or 68 years old.

Reason #1: LK says nothing about a player’s play style
A true story:

A player once told me about his toughest defeat.

He was playing in the regional league at the time. Really good level. Clean tennis, with net attacks , serve variations , short cross from the half field – everything is included. He was at LK 4.

At a tournament he had to play against an LK 8. He only looked at the LK and ticked off the match before the first rally.

“Oh, walk…!” – he thought to himself.

Everything was okay when it was thrown in. The 8 played a relaxed ball. Forehand with a little more spin. Backhand safely in. Few errors, but also nothing special.

Then the match began.

And the nightmare.

Because the LK8 was what I like to call an autodidact moon ball player . This type of player can be found at almost every level of play. They’re like the villains in tennis movies. Many players just want to play a really great match under competitive conditions on some Saturdays. They want to compete with other high-acting people. They want to see where they currently stand – and possibly still want to go.

They want to experience great rallies and a real challenge on the court.

And then comes the self-taught moon ball player.

The villain who destroys this beautiful scenario in an ice-cold, merciless and mostly emotionless manner.

The LK 4er had to experience in the first service game that he had caught a moon ball player who knew no mercy. Even worse:

This moon ball player was able to attack the opponent’s short balls.

The LK 4er lost interest in the match in the middle of the first set. He wasn’t mentally prepared for this clash. That was his fault. His expectation collided head-on with what actually happened on the court. He expected a nice match with spectacular rallies.

He got high, slow balls on his backhand.

The 4er lost without a word in two smooth sentences. No, he wasn’t the worse player. In a relaxed practice match, with a better attitude, he probably would have beaten the 8 easily. But that day, the opponent’s style of play was too big a shock for one’s own nervous system.

what can you learn

Don’t look at a player’s LK. It is better to focus on the opponent’s style of play when hitting the ball. What does he do well, what does he do badly? How does he move? Can you possibly find out quickly what type of player he is?
How can you create a match plan based on the answers to these questions ?

That would be a better way. This path begins by valuing the opponent’s play style over their LK. Brandon Nakashima, for example, regularly played against better people when he was a young player – but often won. He will have judged the way of playing, not the ranking.

Reason #2: The LK does not reflect the playful development of a player
There are players chasing LK tournaments like today’s youth Likes on Instagram.

They play everything they can. With one goal: A better LK .

Anyone who does this for a few years will probably also climb in the ranking. But has this player really improved on the court?

Does he make better shot decisions on big points? Is he calmer when everything goes against him? Does he make fewer mistakes? Does he play longer and better placed than two years ago?

Many club players find it difficult to improve in the long term. The Riddle of “Why?” is resolved fairly quickly. You look from match to match. But they don’t see how they can improve individual elements in their game so that they play much better tennis next year.
Anyone who has bought a course from me knows the credo: small levers, big effects .

On the other hand, there are players who work like an artist on their artwork of their own game. They improve their footwork and are therefore better on the ball. They learn the angle game and can make much better shot decisions in the match.

However, they may not play as many tournaments as other tennis pros.

What can we take away from this?

Sure, the LK does not always show the development of a player. You can therefore encounter low LK players, but they will completely tear you apart. This in turn can lead to frustration and fear of tournaments. Is this fear appropriate?

Absolutely no way.

So always keep in mind: The LK does not always show the development of a player. Therefore, this is another reason why the tennis LK is uninteresting.

Reading tip for tennis elbow: The Masalo Cuff

Reason #3: The tennis LK creates unnecessary tension, sometimes fear, before a match
Raise your hand if you’ve never freaked out before a match.

Ah, I see.

your hand is down

Nervousness is as much a part of a tennis match as the net post. Without net posts there would be no net. No match without a net.

By the way, here you will find five mental exercises for acute nervousness .

If any YouTubers or online trainers are trying to sell you that you can play tennis without being nervous, they are lying to you.

You can learn to play tennis better with your nervousness. But you can’t learn to play tennis without getting nervous.

Nervousness is important to develop focus and increase the ability to concentrate. Unfortunately, as a club player, you tend to invest your increased concentration in the wrong thoughts. But that’s something for another blog post.

We are at the LK.

Researching and stalking your prospective opponent will, in many cases, lead to unnecessarily increased tension. Yes, sometimes even afraid. These negative emotions are built out of a complete castle in the air. None of it, absolutely nothing, exists in the real world. All of the feelings you experience while stalking your opponent are a product of thought – not reality.
I know players who are afraid to play for their team. They avoid tournaments of their own accord. I’ve been brooding over this for a long, long time trying to figure out what could be causing this fear.

Until I found out that this maddening before a match, creating whole horror movies in your head, is at its core based on the opponent’s LK.

Therefore, I advise some players who are prone to such horror movies to stop looking at the LK. Neither on the opponent’s, nor on your own.

Which brings us to the fourth reason…

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Reason #4: The LK puts the focus on results, not improvement
He had won everything.

All records broken.

Children and young people from all over the world took him as a role model.

What was Roger Federer doing at that point? Yep, it was something that should serve as a guide for all club players around the world.

Roger honed his game. He slowly reached his limits against strong baseline players like Rafa or Nole. He didn’t have a chance in the longer rallies.

You can find inspirational quotes from Rafael Nadal here .

Was tat Roger?

Was he trembling and shivering looking at the world rankings? Does he live up to what he had to win for the top position?

He probably didn’t even think about doing that.

Roger began to question his game. He started working on his skills. To do this, he brought Stefan Edberg into the team. Roger improved his runs to the net. He focused on improving positional play at the net.

The volley has been further optimized.

All this did not work immediately in the match. He had to take a step back before taking two forwards. He also tried a larger club head during this time.

What was the idea behind these changes?

The player who had already won everything wanted to get better.
Unfortunately, many club players remain mentally too attached to their LK. They invest more thought in their LK than in their playful development. Investing in playful development almost always leads to better LK in the long term.

Think about it if you’re always “checking LK” 😉

Recommended reading: Serve: 18 Timeless Ways to Serve Great (+ 3 Strategies for Better Rates)

Reason #5: LK insane players who aren’t actually insane
As a match point for this article, I would like to give you another psychological reason to put your racket on.

There are sensitive characters in tennis.

In fact, I would say that many of the better players are sensitive. You have a very good eye (and ear) for your opponent’s moods. They are good at putting themselves in the opponent’s head and making better decisions for their own game.

However, these characters claim that they “…do not function properly” or “…play like blocked…” in the match.

They could “…actually play a lot better”.

Everything you consume before a match – whether consciously or unconsciously – affects your baseline performance level. Some things have a bigger impact, some a smaller one.

For sensitive characters who are basically really good players, the opponent’s LK can have a huge impact on emotional stability in a match. If, for example, an LK 12 player sees before her match that she has to play against an LK 15 player, this puts emotional pressure on her even before stepping onto the pitch.
If this LK 15 player also hits a few balls cleanly, then the LK 12 player can completely break down emotionally. I know these stories in different versions. However, the ending is always the same:

Players who aren’t actually insane become insane with the LK.

Think about this if you’re partially blocking in a match and you’re really scared.

We’ve now gone through five reasons. There’s a lot more. The key point is that you should always put your playful, mental and physical development ahead of individual results. Sure, a terrific win against a much better placed player is a great thing. But that single result fizzled out the next day.

A single result has no substance. It won’t get you anywhere in the long run.

On the other hand, improving your skills as a player will bring you forward in the long term.

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