116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - Many people think tennis is only a physical sport, but there is a mental aspect as well.
Allison Jasper, a senior for the Xavier girls' tennis team, believes the mind games she plays on the court help her to be successful.
'Each match during warm ups I try to look for my opponent's weaknesses and then I try to exploit them during the match,” Jasper said. 'It starts the moment I walk onto the court. I bring an oversized tennis bag to give the impression that I am really good even when that isn't the case.”
This is just one of the many tactics that she uses. She also tries to slow the pace by tying her shoes and placing a towel over her head so it is harder for people to talk to her. Jasper has the attitude of 'you can be my friend after the match.”
These tactics have paid off. She placed third at the state tournament her junior year.
'Allison is a very good tennis player and does whatever it takes to win,” sophomore Nadia Karl said.
During the off-season, Jasper practices almost every day, working on the physical and mental aspects of the game. Along with practice and school, she also makes time to read books about the mind games of tennis.
'I am going to do whatever it takes to get a step up on my opponents,” she said. 'So I thought that by reading these books it would give me an upper-hand on some of the people I have played.
'If you show me a weakness. I will exploit it. When playing me, you will either die quickly or slowly and painfully.”
As a freshman, Jasper was the No. 2 player on the varsity team. She had a dismal season, finishing with a record under .500.
'In the off-season, after my freshman year, I worked really hard to fix any weaknesses that I had,” Jasper said.
It paid off. She played No. 1 singles as a sophomore and finished in the top 10 at the state tournament.
Jasper said she is trying to find new mental tactics as she attempts to build on her third-place finish.