Dear tennis friends,
Just received some great tips from our dear mental tennis coach, Dr. Patrick Cohn on how to help players who over think too much in matches. I thought it would be great to share with all of you.
Many of the athletes are too serious about competition and think, "This is important now, make sure you do everything right and not make any mistakes." Although this type of thinking might sound right to athletes, it creates a cautious and analytical mindset.
So here are 4 tips to quiet the mind in matches for players who over think:
1. Remind yourself (or your players) that practice is complete at the start of the match. Rely on what you have already learned in practice. Stop "practicing" your mechanics in matches.
2. Use a "functional" mindset instead a trying to be perfect. This is very important for perfectionists that think they have to be perfect in competition. A functional mindset is what tennis coach, Brad Gilbert, calls winning ugly--Just get the job done and don't worry about how it looks or feels.
3. Avoid "fixing" what may not be broken. Instead of analyzing what went wrong on the last missed shot and how to fix it--during matches--move on to the next shot or game and trust your ability.
4. See the ball-hit the ball. We use this saying for softball and baseball players who tend to over think. React to the input from your eyes. Simplify the number of thoughts or images you need to perform. Don't think about every single tip your coach has told you when playing.
Remember, believe in yourself during matches. Over thinking will only cause you to be distracted and lose your focus. I hope you can apply these tips to improve your mindset when it comes to tennis matches. Let me know if these tips work for you.
To your tennis serve success.