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A winning formula for on-court success


Originally published on: 26/02/10 16:33

Would it surprise you to learn that many matches, at all levels of the game from the youngest juniors to the best touring pros, are won or lost even before the first ball is served? I call this locker-room power.

So, what is locker-room power? It is the term I use to define the difference between players who consistently win and those who don’t. It is part of the formula for success I have developed and understanding its ramifications can improve your game and your chances of winning matches and tournaments.

Desire (D) + 2 Weapons (2W) + Belief (B) (which grows with winning) = Locker-room power (LRP)

Let me unlock the power of this formula by explaining in more detail how it works.


This gives a person the motivation to do all the hard work involved to reach their goal. It is the desire to do whatever is needed for however long it takes. It is the glue, the ability to compete and run for every ball and the strength to carry on during the low times.


A player needs to develop at least two weapons that really hurt opponents. These are two attributes that win points and that strike fear into opponents.


This develops over time when it becomes obvious why a player is winning matches. It is born of a great intent to hurt opponents with their weapons and the execution is consistent enough to cover their weaknesses.

Locker-room power

The fear factor that is needed to seep the desire and belief away from opponents so that many matches are won before a player steps on the court. LRP causes opponents to lose confidence during a tough match or doubt to creep into their mind in a crisis.

How does LRP manifest itself at different levels? Sport is not an exact science so the use of ages or terminology is adjustable. Over the coming weeks we’ll look at examples of the common reasons why certain juniors are better than others, or why a player is effective at club level, or indeed what it takes to win a Grand Slam.


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.