Were you aware that once you have
mastered the technical and tactical side of the game of tennis, your tennis
becomes 65% mental.
You will need to look at my advanced tennis facts to understand all of the areas covered by the mental aspects of tennis.
In this document we are only going to
look at errors and mistakes. In all areas of tennis, whether
it be at club level or pro. level,
75% of points are lost, in other words these are lost to the opponent due to a mistake occurring, whether this be
a forced or an unforced error
Just consider serving, we always look
at a player first serve as a criteria, but even at the professional level, we
often see a 50% success
rate and that is before the point has even got under way.
Are you spending too much time
thinking about your mistakes? Are past mistakes affecting how
you are playing the next point. if so,
you may be your own worst enemy!
Mental problems are not like physical
or technical problems that you can solve by reaffirming your technique,
repetition and drills.
The answer is to concentrate immediately on the NEXT point as soon as you make a mistake that costs you the point. One of the
problems with tennis is that you have more time in which to think than you do actually playing.
In Sampras versus Moya at the Australian Open 1997, the following was analysed:
Total playing time: 87 minutes
Action time: 17 minutes
Time between action: 70 minutes (potential thinking time)
During these 70 minutes, there was
the opportunity for both negative and positive thoughts, feelings and selk
talk; plenty of time in
which to think oneself into or out of the match.
If you will observe the professional
player when the point has finished, they walk slowly back off the court,
seemingly adjusting their s
trings, this is called a ritual and they are actually putting the last point out of their mind, to focus on the point that is coming up.
There is absolutely no mileage in dwelling on the negative last point, it has happened and gone.
However, if you did a great last
shot, then you can place this in your memory bank, it could come in handy for
the future, it makes you
feel good and positive.
Another suggestion… talk to someone
about the good things you did after each game or practice.
There will be points on this in the
Mental aspects in Advanced Tennis, keep an eye open for this addition in the near future.
Remember that tennis is a game where
one player wins and one player loses every single match and you have to come to
terms with this.
The object is to learn from your mistakes, try not to make the same one twice and you will become a better player. If you demand too
much of yourself, try to play to perfection, this can become a weakness.
Jimmy Connors once remarked ‘The next best thing after playing and winning, is playing and losing’….. think about it!