Tennis is a wonderful game for many reasons, but one of the most attractive parts is the challenge between two combatants. A team game does not bring the same stress mentally than tennis, when you are off form in a team game your colleagues can help pull you through. In tennis it is a case of either you cope with the situation yourself or you fail.
A key to this is your mental condition and how you focus, you can develop this part of your game with your personal coach but here are some tips to help you.
Tips On How To Focus
The inner game of tennis approach is based on this simple principle, the key to peak performance lies in the mind of the player.
There are three key elements to conquer for this end:
- Try to experience a quiet mind
Pick a small object, throw it in the air and then catch it. When you do this action your mind will be empty, there will be no thoughts. Perhaps if you repeat the operation you will start to focus as you will be aware of what is happening.
To achieve this goal is to quieten your mind, focus it on something and thus prevent thinking which distracts you and disturbs the mind / body connection.
- To experience trusting the body
Standing on one leg you become aware of all the muscles in your leg, how they work to keep you in balance. The more aware you are, the more you will feel how your muscles move. And yet, this is not what you are doing consciously.
You can consciously move your body if you want, and those movements are the result of self commands. But if you compare these movements with those in your leg when you are holding balance, you will see a big difference. The movements in your leg are subconscious.
- To experience non-judgement
Try an experiment of hitting a small target on the ground about twenty feet away. Throw tennis balls to try and hit the target. Then ask yourself, “Did you criticize when you missed ?” “Did you have negative thoughts about yourself or your abilities?”
You probably did not, as you were in a state of non-judgement. This task helps you to learn that you can perform tasks and not be judgemental about yourself. That way you are totally focused.
How To Practice
Every day after training, practicing or playing:-
- Did you experience that you were making corrections subconsciously?
- Did you experience a still mind? Were you totally focused on the sessions and had no thoughts running around your awareness?
- Did you make a couple of mistakes and not blame yourself? This means that you accepted them as a normal part of the game.
- How did you perform afterwards, when you accepted the errors? How did you play when you don’t accept them? Will reality ever change?
Learning to accept these principles will help your overall game, you will learn that making mistakes, losing a point are all part of the game and not just your fault.