When playing tennis, mistiming, or misjudging the ball can lead to serious errors and losing the point or even losing the game. So, if you want to win the game, you need to have mental toughness. In simple words, mental toughness is your ability to generate and maintain focus in a stressful situation. Here are a few useful mental toughness tips for tennis players.
- Envision Your Best Moments
One of the simplest ways to develop mental toughness is to envision your best moments of playing tennis. Think of an iconic shot you had played or a game you had won in the past. Use that to subconsciously get your body to live up to that image.
- Form a Ritual
Choose a ritual that will allow you to calm your mind and be ready for the game. The ritual you choose can be anything from praying to a god you worship or bouncing the tennis ball a couple of times. Do whatever helps you to be calm and relax your body and mind.
- Focus on the Court
When playing an important game, make sure that you keep your eyes on the ball or the other player. Do not break your attention or focus by looking off-court (at your fans, friends, or family). The less distracted you are, the better will your performance be.
- Stop Overthinking
People tend to overthink things and ruin their confidence. The simplest solution to this problem is to let your mind relax before a big game and not overthink about what will happen if you win or what will happen if you lose. Take every challenge with a calm mind, and you will be able to do good. Don’t stress too much before the game and expect to win everything every time.
- Avoid the Opponents Tactics
When you have a big game, your opponent might try to make you lose your confidence by talking about your weak points or highlighting your failures in the game. If you have mental toughness, all those comments will not impact you, and you will have a clear mind. The opponent will try to provoke you. Don’t let them win by reacting to it.
- Concentrate on the Positives
It is also recommended that you focus on the positives when you are playing a game. Remind yourself about your strong points and be proud of them. Tell yourself how good you are at any aspect of the game, like you serve better or you are great at deflecting the ball.
- Remember to Breathe
Whenever you are in a tough situation like you are losing a tennis match, you should take a few seconds to get your breath under control—Practice deep breathing before a match to ensure that your nerves stay calm.
- Seek Support
It is also smart to be friends with people who support your game and want you to get better. Do not hang out with people who always criticize your game. Instead, spend time with people who appreciate your game and let you get better by positively motivating you.
- Don’t Make Winning a Big Deal
No matter how good you are at tennis or how capable you think you are, you cannot win every game. So, you should know that winning and losing are part of the package. You need to do your best and be satisfied with it.
- Get Better
After every match, review the videos and see where you went wrong and how. It will help you to improve your game. If you have a coach, talk to them so that they can help you to get better at the game.
- Have Fun
It is also essential to have fun while playing tennis. It will help you to get some mental relief and make you stronger. Good luck!
Need more tips? Connect with Talalay Tennis. Run by Aaron Talalay, the founder, and CEO this brand offers exceptional tennis coaching for kids and adults alike. Aaron is a USPTA Certified Elite Professional with over 15 years of on-court experience and nine years of coaching experience.
Aaron was voted all-league two years in a row from his junior to senior year in high school. He won the Big Eight League Finals and then played college tennis for two years. Aaron currently coaches 40+ hours of private/ group tennis lessons per week in Corona, California, and is currently the Head Tennis Coach at a local high school in Riverside, California. To know more about him or to set up an appointment with him, click here.