July 7, 2019
Tennis Mental Game
from Optimum Tennis
Secrets of the Mental Tennis Game
No matter how skillful you are, physically winning a tennis match can still be out of your reach if your mind is not conditioned. Below are some of the tennis mental game techniques and training for every player in order to condition their mind to win tennis matches.
Visualization and self confidence
Every tennis player should do visualization exercises prior to a tennis match. Spend several minutes prior to a tennis match visualizing that you are going to play the best tennis match you ever played in your life. Imagine yourself playing in the court with excellent first service and second service percentage. You can also visualize that you will be able to use you powerful groundstrokes to make you opponent more vulnerable. Above all, visualize yourself winning the tennis match no matter who is your opponent.
Visualization does not come easily by just imagining things. In doing this you have to use all your senses. The sense of touch that you can feel how you grip your racket and how you toss you ball when you serve. Use your sense of hearing to imagine that you hear all the cheers of your supporters or boos of your opponent’s supporters. And most importantly, you should make use of your sense of feeling, seeing and hearing to hear to the shouts and the cheers, the different colors and the warmth feeling the spectators give you in the court when you hit your winning ball. By doing this training every day, as time goes by you will start to develop your self confidence.
In playing tennis, what you feel or what your emotions are during the match are big factors that affect your game performance. This means that during tennis matches, your thoughts and your emotions should work hand in hand for you to be at your best. Many professional players use this in their mental tennis training to achieve their goals as you see them talking to themselves on court.
On one hand, what you say when you are on court does affect the way you play your tennis games. This is because normally the words that come out from your mouth are expressions of your real thoughts and your real emotions deep inside your head, and therefore these expressions tend to manifest itself both externally and internally.
One way for players to develop positive self-talk can even be done during practice or during the match itself. To win tennis matches you have to introduce positive self-talk. Tell yourself that you have the skills and techniques to defeat your opponents. Tell yourself not be frustrated or angered when you miss a hit. Tell yourself not to complain a lot when a line man or the referee makes a bad call, because it will just distract your concentration.
And above all talk to yourself to concentrate and focus on your game with the goal of winning it. This technique of a solid tennis mental game is crucial especially when you are down in a match, because it can help you motivate yourself. This is very important in tennis matches considering once you are on court, you work all alone (especially in Grand slam tournaments) from the beginning of the match until a winner is declared. Therefore, your self-motivation by talking to yourself is vital.
Mental Tennis Strength
Developing your mental strength is very important in every tennis match. No matter how good you are in every physical attribute in a tennis match, your chances of winning tennis matches are limited if your mental strength is weak. Mental strength means your ability to focus on every single match and every single point without a lapse. Hence every player must train themselves accordingly for the tennis mental game.
How to train yourself to develop the mental tennis strength you need every time you face your opponent?
During practice, maintain your objectives of winning every point to the best of your ability. Don’t take the practice for granted because generally your performance in practice reflects your performance in the actual games.
The second part of the tennis mental game is to include critical games situations in every practice you do. Mental tennis strength is more crucial when you are pressured to win points. Like for example in tiebreakers, a situation when you are down with your service game at 0-40, or you are in a situation that you only need to win two to three points to win a match. These are just examples where the right mental tennis training is crucial for you to stay focus and aim for a point in every hit.
In every tennis game, it is possible that a match can go for a very long time like the longest match in tennis history between Isner and Mahut in 2010 Wimbledon. If both players did not have the proper mental tennis training, neither of them would be able to finish the match. The best way to do this is to keep practicing for long hours until such time that you think your physical body can’t do it anymore but your mind is still willing to persevere.
Hence relaxation techniques are very important to minimize these negative emotions before and during the game.
10 Minute pre-match silent moment
Control body language
Hence in every game, each player must always condition their mind that no matter what your real condition is you should always project that you are in your best condition. Like for example if your opponent sees that your shoulders are sagging when you are down, it will create more encouragement to your opponent. But if you continue the game with your head up while calming yourself, your opponent would not be able to take advantage of you.
Mistake management skills
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