Back to Back Issues Page Newsletter---What to do when you feel intimidated by tennis opponents?
October 13, 2013
Dear tennis friends,

Happy Sunday!

In today's newsletter, I would like to share some great mental tips from our mental coach, Dr Patrick.J.Cohn.

Do you (or your players) feel intimidated about the level of your competition before a match?

If you compare yourself to your opponent, you are prone to feel intimidated. Most of the time, you'll compare yourself to players who you think are better than you.

This putts your competitors on a pedestal and makes you feel inferior. And this leads to a confidence-slayer I call "self-intimidation."

Some tennis players do try to intimidate their competition intentionally because they think it gives them a mental edge or feel they need to this to win.

However, most intimidation comes from athletes who psych themselves out - all on their own.

Worrying too much about the quality of the competition is the main culprit here.

For example, one athlete I worked with, would feel intimidated by the ranking of his opponent. If a competitor has a high ranking, be would doubt his ability to win the match. And then he played tight and scared to lose the match.

So here's a summary of how it works:

When you make comparisons to other tennis players, you're focusing on what makes your competitors better and what you are missing. You're thinking of what's wrong with you--which is not good for your confidence.

What the solution to this confidence destroyer?

The first step is to notice when you focus too much on the abilities of your opponents. Should you even focus on their talents or ranking? No.

Be aware when you or your players...

* Give too much energy to the competition during pre-match.

* Have doubts about playing well against a certain competitor.

* Are in awe of the competition.

* Feel inferior to the competition and make comparisons to others.

The second step is to focus on your own talents and strengths, not others. Sounds simple, right? We know it's not that simple. Start by making a list of your strengths or assets as a tennis player. Focus on your talents at match time.

Don't put your opponents on a pedestal. When you put them on a pedestal, you look up to them and assume they are better. You are in awe of them.

Also, think about competing to the best of your ability instead of competing against players who look good, who have a big serve, or who intimidate you.

Comparing yourself to others hurts your confidence and success. It intimidates you. Instead, focus on your own strengths and talents and on your performance.

Always remember that your opponents are human too and they are not perfect.

Let me know what are your thoughts after reading these mental tips. I would love to hear from you.

To your tennis success!



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