The key to peak performance, as a tennis athlete, is your mind! Your winning mindset is about developing a “habitual mental attitude” that will respond to situations in the right way and allow you to win more often.
Although you may spend hours preparing strokes for competition and developing strategies, it could all be lost during the match without the right mindset. Despite all your preparations, you may find yourself losing to what you might perceive as being a “lesser” opponent.
Ron Waite, certified USPTA tennis instructor, advises that “the first realization that each of us must accept is that there really are no truly ‘lesser’ opponents.” As soon as you assume that you “should” beat an opponent, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Anything can happen in a match. You can’t expect what you’ve seen or experienced in the past to be a predictor of what will happen in the present match.
“This concept of not expecting the past to influence the present is a key concept in competitive tennis.” – Ron Waite
To have a winning mindset you must think positively and focus on one point at a time. With this frame of mind you’re less likely to wonder to negative thoughts of “what if I miss this first serve” or “I can’t lose this next point.” Stay focused on what you want to achieve not what could go wrong.
Players who have a winning mindset and possess that mental edge over their opponents will make better split second decisions about shots and be able to respond in a more calculated way to the many “quick changes” occurring throughout a match.
All great tennis players have certain characteristics and qualities, in common, that assist them in developing a winning mindset for tennis success. These players have a commitment to excellence, dedication, a strong work ethic and a strong resistance to any difficult situations that may get in their way.
Successful tennis players believe in themselves. This self-confidence does not waiver when they are placed in a stressful situation. Instead, it allows them to remember that they have succeeded when faced with obstacles before.
A belief that there is always a way to win
Despite being met with opponents of great skill, champion tennis players always believe there is a way to win. They continually seek ways to turn things around within in the match to their favor and experiment with new tactics.
Great tennis players maintain their composure during extreme adversity. They rarely panic or become flustered. They stay positive and act confidently to handle the stress that comes their way.
Learn from each experience
Successful tennis players learn from each match. They improve and win the next time they are faced with a similar opponent. They are not afraid of criticism and continually seek advice and feedback.
The key to improve your mental tennis game is to identify the factors of the game that you can control and focus less on the one’s that are out of your control.
Fayetteville Athletic Club has a large tennis program, accommodating people of all ages and levels. If you’d like to learn more about our tennis lessons and teams contact Drew Sosebee at APEXTennis1@gmail.com.