Tennis is very much a mental game, almost like chess in that respect. Especially if you are playing singles tennis most of the time.
Players invest hours on the training court improving technique and developing the physical ability required for ultimate performance. But surprisingly little attention is paid to the psychological skills required to compete.
Stay In Control
There are many distractions and interruptions during a game; umpiring, weather, crowd and possibly your biggest danger of a distraction is yourself.
You may be physically superior to your opponent with better technique, but if you don’t have the ability to control your psychological state when under pressure you will limit your capacity to win.
Manage Your Mental Health
The Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing estimated that a quarter of people aged 16-34 years met the criteria for one or more mental disorders.
Paying equal attention to both your physical and mental health should be an integral part of your daily training routine.
Create a balanced lifestyle and develop coping strategies to effectively deal with stress, and sustaining supportive relationships with friends and family will all contribute to your psychological well being.
Anxiety at different levels is natural, but the key is to learn how to take control of your anxiety before it can control you.
A low level of anxiety is a good thing when you are playing as it helps to facilitate your performance, by activating your body and focusing your mind. Learning to relax promotes control of anxiety and helps recovery by reducing physical tension and calming the mind.
Consider Psychological Recovery
The psychological recovery process assists players to cope with, and recover from a match. Winning or losing generates strong feelings and it is critical they are dealt with in the correct way.
Debriefing after a game will help you to focus and relax, and you should implement psychological recovery strategies that will help you general lifestyle and sleep.
You can only expect such strategies for sport performance to make a positive impact on court if you are actively managing them across all areas of your life.
Have Faith In Your Own Ability
Always maintain positive thoughts about yourself and your ability to perform. Focus on building confidence in your capacity to execute your skills, and see how this improves your game.
Develop your confidence by reinforcing your strengths and learning ways to think and act confidently.
Do not ignore the psychological side of your game, it is an important part of your overall health and integral to how you play.
If you feel one part of your game is bringing you down then concentrate on developing it. Get advice from a pro at your local club like Tennis World Lane Cove how to maintain concentration and keep your psychological game together.