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                          Goal Setting

Perhaps you think that goal setting is not very important, well think
again.
 
A life of meaning and a career in tennis, or any other sport for that
matter, needs goals and specific plans to achieve them. Many of the
top and wealthy men in the world lay their success down to knowing
what they wanted and where they were going.
 
Clearly defined goals and strategy are the single most important
Structure in the long-term effectiveness and sustainability of your
tennis career. Goals need to be constantly reappraised, refocused
and re-shared with someone, so that you have the opportunity to
discus your progress; I would suggest this should be your coach.
The benefits of goal setting are neither imaginary nor vague.
 
Goals establish direction for your tennis. If you never set a goal how will you know where you are
   going?
 
Goals identify results. If no goal exists, how do you measure your progress?
 
Goals challenge you to grow and improve. If you never set a goal how do you move out of  your
   comfort  zone?
 
Goal setting gives you confidence. Your frustration is immediately lowered when vagueness and
   doubt are replaced by focus and concentration.
 
Goal setting forces you to be specific. It is the first positive step to success.
If for example, you were deciding to visit someone by car and you did  not know the way, you would
take a map and carefully plan your route. Setting your goals is just the same.
 
Consider this your very first step along the route to your tennis ideals. Success in any endeavour does
not happen by accident. It is the result of deliberate decisions, conscious efforts, and immense persistence.
 
A dream is just a dream until you write it down, then it becomes a goal.
 
Written goals are the first step towards commitment, it means you are serious about its achievement.
Written goals force you to think – to accept how realistic your goals may or may not be.
 
Write your goal in sspecific, measurable and time limited terms.
 
Write your affirmative goal statement.
This is what you will be able to say once you have achieved your goal. write this as though you
have already accomplished the goal.
 
Identify the time period during which you plan to achieve your goal.
 
No goal is etched in stone. Our goals change as time changes, as  our physical abilities change
   and as our personal circumstancies change.
We break our goals down into three time periods, more will be said about this later:

                        Short-range Goals                1 –  90 days
                        Medium-range Goals            3 -  12 months
                        Long-range Goals                 1 -  5 years

Analyze your current situation
 
You must honestly identify your current strengths and assests as well as behaviors, limitations fears
and weaknesses that  prevent you from achieving your goals immediately.
Use the SWOT Analysis.
 
Exercise:  Select a goal you would like to achieve and then complete the
                SWOT analysis.
 
Goal: …………………………………………………………………………
 
Strengths ……………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………....…………….
…………………………………………………………....…………………….
 
Weaknesses …………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………....…………………….
…………………………………………………………....…………………….
 ...
Opportunities ………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………....……………….
…………………………………………………………....…………………….
 ...
Threats ……………………………………………………………………..
……………………………………………………………………...…………
……………………………………………...…………………………………
……………………………………………...…………………………………
We are now almost ready to set our goals.
people who set goals, generally achieve more than those who don’t.
 
They focus your attention and set a routine which worked on daily – over a predefined period achieves
more than not setting a goal at all.
 
See S.M.A.R.T. reference later.
 
There are two types of goals in tennis.
 
Performance goals  -   setting the short term requirements in order to achieve the final outcome goals.
 
Outcome goals         -   The result of all the work put in to achieve your Aims.
 
You should set long term goals and then break these down into medium term goals then into daily or
weekly tasks (short term goals). Goals should be reviewed and adjusted regularly depending on the
progress made.
 
You should use the goal setting forms at the end of this article and you should discuss your goals with
someone else (probably your coach and perhaps also your parents).

       SELECTIVE EXAMPLES OF PERSONAL GOAL STATEMENTS  IN VARIOUS CATEGORIES HAVING
                                             TO DO WITH TENNIS AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT.                                   
                                        Mechanicl
                                To improve the accuracy of my first serve
                                To increase the percentage of my first service return
                                To get more depth oin my groundstroke rallies
                                To win more first points in a game
                                To improve my fitness so that I can perform fully in long matches
                                To add variety to my second serve
                                Mental
                                To relax better on important points
                                To become more disciplined oin preparing for my matches
                                To remain focused in between sets
                                To become more disciplined in my approach to losing points
 
*Select no less than three or four goals and no more than six or seven at any one time.

S. M. A. R. T.  GOALS
You should tell someone else about your goals, it helps to focus on them. Perhaps your Coach or
Sponsor- your Parents (Or do you have a Mentor?)
 
S   pecific        -           You (and your mentor) know exactly what the goal is!
 
M  easurable  -           your progress towards the goal can be measured  by yourself and others.
 
A   ttainable    -           you are able to make progress and attain the gioal.
 
R   elevant      -        by attaining the goal, you will have achieved your desires, the GOAL is relevant to  
                                  your development.
 
T   ime frame  -           you have a clear understanding of when you expect to attain the goal.

You should also establish a “benchmark” to know where you started so you can begin to measure
your progress.  Know where you are now.
See ‘Example’ of Goal Setting