3 Mental Tennis Tips To Boost Your Game
If you want to win more matches, the truth is that tennis is a largely physical and mental game. A lot of your success in tennis comes from your ability to stay in the game, especially in your head. There is nothing like a poor game to cause you to get frustrated, angry, and ready to quit so it is very important that you stay calm, focus on the game, and keep your mind working with your body. It is hard to harness your mind, so use these three mental tennis tips to help you have an edge over your opponent.
Mental Tennis Tips #1: Establish a Routine
Routines are a very important part of playing tennis, just like they are a part of playing every sport. Every time you go up to hit the ball, your body is following through on a complex set of actions that it has performed over and over. Your routines will help you to get into a place where you will feel comfortable, so it is critical that you have a number of routines that help you to settle into the rhythm of the game.
Just like some basketball players have to spin the ball three times before the free throw, try spinning your racket a set number of times before each serve to keep you relax. For me, I like to repeat the word “spin” in my mind before I serve. This is to remind myself to inject more spin in my serve. Use words to help you focus your mind on the game in front of you, and whisper them quietly before every play. Keep a tennis diary and write down all of your thoughts, and mentally track the thoughts to add to your diary later. Take a moment to towel off after a particularly poor play, and reboot your mind and body. You will find that these routines can help you to settle into a rhythm that will improve your game every time!
Mental Tennis Tips #2: Manage your Feelings
Your anger is something that you will have to deal with, as it is the natural reaction to a poor performance. More often than not, it is just stupid bad luck that you missed shot, misread a play, or tripped. There is no point in getting angry, so it’s time to practice controlling your feelings. It can be hard to put the emotions out of your mind, but you have to do so if you are going to be able to focus on the task at hand – rather than how you feel.
There are going to be times when you can feel the emotion, such as during the breaks or stoppages. However, for the rest of the game, you need to keep yourself under a tight rein in order to be sure that your anger or frustration doesn’t affect your game – because believe me, it will! Give yourself a moment to let out your frustration, reset your mind, and get back in the game ready and with a clean mental slate. Harness your feelings, and let your opponent get angry and mess their own play up by letting their emotions get out of control.
Mental Tennis Tips #3: Forget About it!
There are some things that you need to forget about, and this selective amnesia is a very important way to boost your game – enabling you to win more matches. You always go through the various parts of the game in your mind, but some things just aren’t worth going over and over. For example, if you have just committed a double fault. Don’t keep thinking about that lost point. Focus on the next point instead! Go back to your routine (see mental tennis tips # 1) and get ready for the next point.
You have to focus on the positives of each game, thinking about what you did right and trying to come up with the logical process that led to that positive action. If you can recreate the process in your mind, you will be able to set it up the next time you play. You can think about the positive aspects of your game, learn from the mistakes that you make, but then leave all the rest behind and forget about the things that you can do nothing about.
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