Coaching Tip - December 2022

Your state of mind and
Your Emotional responses when playing Tennis competition

Tennis players particularly those who are studying and/or working hard often benefit from having a hit or workout on court to destress before an exam or another long shift.
The competition or tournament player will however need to prepare physically and mentally for their match at hand to make sure that they are in the zone and ready to play when they get on court.
The match will because of its competitive element have an Emotional effect on the player(s) battling it out on court.

You will due to the pressure of the match react in one or a maybe even a combination of four ways.
The three negatives are
• Tank on points, games or the match
In this way you withdraw your effort and committment during the match reducing your stress level and at the same time not worrying about the end result.
Excuses such as “ It is too windy and I can’t play in the wind so I may as well not be out here” are concocted
to make excuses for not trying
• Anger
You lose your temper blaming line calls, bad luck and the windy conditions and use verbal outbursts and hitting tennis balls out of the park to vent this anger.
Your anger issues will most probably side track you from the task at hand – winning the match – and usually lead to a string of wild shots and unforced errors.
• Choking
You become so worried about the outcome of the match that it affects your level of play and in particular your shot selection i.e trying to end the point by hitting a drop shot from behind the baseline.
No percentage there.
The postive is to
• Fight or scrap
This is certainly the preferred emotional response so that you fight for every point and enjoy the oncourt battle so that you can have every chance to win the match at hand.

Players will need to practice this concept under simulated match conditions during their training sessions to develop and hone the positive emotional responses and dampen the effects of the negative reponses so that they can lift their tennis game to the next level during intense competition.

I hope that you have found this article on directing your emotional responses of interest and that it inspires you to work hard and train using this concept in an attempt to take your game to the next level.

Contact me if you have comments or queries.

Tennis the game of a lifetime
Enjoy your Tennis experience

Steve James
HEAD coach