Strategy Tip: Developing a Winning Attitude
1. Goal Setting: An age-old practice that allows anyone to achieve. IF we spend time thinking about what we want in life, we are more likely to gain those things simply because we can imagine them and start taking steps to pave the way. For example, if your wish is to become a pro athlete and gain all the wonders this status brings, a couple steps appear on your list to getting there: building strength and stamina through exercise to perform; learning the game basics and strategies; using resources to get to college, make good marks to stay on the team, stay healthy and get noticed by quality play; maintain a healthy lifestyle and dedication to your craft to play pro. Once your focus on what you want, the details are easier to fall into place.
There are two types of goals to be set as you may guess: short and long term. In a match, your goals are more likely to be short-term-try to win! Winning begins with a single point. Setting realistic goals such as keeping the ball in play for 3 hits is a goal. Attempting at least one “winner” in the game is a goal. Working to make all your 1st serves in is a goal. These are ways to focus your mind on achievable short-term goals that could possible lead to winning the set and match and possibly working your way toward longer term goals such as winning the tournament, staying fit and getting recognized for the pro-circuit. The short-term goals as mentioned above are important in achieving larger ones and dedication to them through time and effort.
2. Mental Imagery & Self Talk
Similar to goal setting, mental imagery is the ability to imagine yourself hitting the down the line winner. Visualize yourself acing your opponent and you are developing a winning attitude. A winning attitude may simply be the absence of a negative attitude. If you are able to conjure up beliefs and images of success, you are being positive. Now, separate yourself from daydreaming and focus your thoughts on actual shots you know you can hit-a forehand down the line where your opponent misses, an angled backhand into the service box, a serve up in the inside line. Imagine yourself hitting your shot and winning. Tell yourself (quietly to avoid too many stares) what you are going to attempt for the next serve return. Speak to yourself as you would to a best friend and lift yourself up as you would a teammate. Combine this talk with an image of you executing this shot as well as planning your steps to set up for your goal- hitting such a shot. The goal is to keep your mind focused on winning and avoiding negativity that proves to be a waste of time!
3. Attitude is a choice.
Get On The Court!