Written by Peter Gehr Senior Tennis Editor
Studies show that by having a positive and confident attitude towards your game, the more likely you are to carry this psychological edge from point to point. When observing Rafael Nadal, for example, it often appears to me that he plays each point as if it were the last point he’ll ever play. As if it’s the most important point of the tournament. In other words, if you’re wondering how to improve your tennis mental game in 5 easy steps, you may find that there are methods that great tennis players use to enhance their inner tennis performance—which in turn has a huge effect on their actual technical and tactical execution.
Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and Rafael Nadal are often referring to the confidence and self-belief they have in order to break down their opponent mentally, but not only that, it is also a tennis tactic to boost confidence within themselves to combat media speculation about them, or speculative reports about their current game.
How to Improve Your Tennis Mental Game in 5 Easy Steps
The following writer offers these steps for consideration:
1. No excuses
The sooner you stop making excuses the quicker you will improve.
Step onto the court, do the best you can and learn from the defeat if you lose (because losing is part of the game). The players who do this, progress at a much quicker rate.
2. Planning for the worst, does not mean you do not expect to win.
Many players think that considering adverse situations can erode your confidence, but mentally dealing with tough situations before they happen can have a really positive effect.
3. You WILL make mistakes – Even the best do.
You watch all the biggest tennis matches on TV and see plenty of errors being made by some of the best players of all time who are practicing a hell of a lot more than you on a daily basis, so it’s natural that you will also make mistakes…RIGHT?
If you do make an error move on and get ready to play the next point as well as you can.
4. Interpretation is Frustration.
Talking of mistakes, it is never a mistake that makes you angry, it’s always your interpretation of it.
Re-thinking the meaning you attach to mistakes will help you react to them in a much less destructive manner and will free you up to play your best.
5. All shots are NOT equal.
Grade all your shots.
For example: forehand 7, backhand 6, serve 8, etc.
Now, when that backhand is not going well, you are less likely to transfer this dip to ALL your other shots and your game may then go from an 8 to a 7. (Find the full article here)
Words are real and have an impact on our lives and minds, and it’s a very powerful tool an athlete can have to master mental conditioning. These methods are not restricted to professional tennis players only. Quite often, much of our education and preconceptions end up as hindrances for the advancement in sports mental techniques. Fresh and innovative insights help break down those walls and how to improve your tennis mental game in 5 easy steps above can help build that defensive barrier, or begin to reveal an awareness to begin controlling your thoughts which can make or break your game.
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