Coaching Tip - March 2018

    Tennis the Mind Game

    The game of Tennis is a game of choices:
    Where to serve to?
    What spin to put on the ball?
    How hard to hit the ball?
    Go for placement or power?

    The game of Tennis is also a game of decisions:
    Choosing the correct shot i.e. a passing shot or lob when your opponent is at the net.
    Anticipating your opponents return and setting up for your next shot.

    There are times between points or at the change of ends where a player may take the opportunity to think about the match at hand.

    There are 4 elements to maintain a strong mental state during a tennis match:
    The ability to stay focused on the present moment: learn not to dwell on previous mistakes.
    Having the desire and stamina to succeed under pressure: remain alert and enjoy the battle.

    Be in control of your tennis strokes as well as your behaviour and emotions.
    Have a belief in your own ability helps you to get the ball into court in any situation. 

    Controlling Your Game
    • Focus on the elements of the game that you can control
    Use your strengths; you cannot control the weather, net cords or bad line calls.
    • Set yourself Goals
    It important to concentrate on the positive aspects of your game and how you perform.
    You may find that you are more concerned about winning the match instead on how well you perform, but it is possible to play well and lose to a more advanced player. 

    There are 2 types of Goals:
    • Outcome Goals
    These goals are concerned with the end result i.e. winning or losing a match.
    You may set a short term goal to win the next match or perhaps or long term to win every match you play.
    These targets or goals are not under your control and are very much dependant on your opponent(s).
    • Performance Goals
    These goals are concerned with your skills and achievements and not whether you win or lose.
    You may try to improve the number of your first serves you get into play by 10% and this is not dependant on winning the match.
    These goals are under your control and can be used to boost your self-awareness and confidence and help to get some positives out of losing matches.

    The way that the game of tennis is played ensures that a player needs to be mentally tough throughout the match.
    The hints outlined above can help you improve the mental component of your game and as a result perform better in tight matches.

    Contact me by Email if you have any comments or helpful Tennis hints.
    Let me know the things that work for you.
    Coach Steve