Tennis Psychology – Use the Mental Tennis Game to Win Matches

Tennis Psychology is a science that is aiding athletes to bring out talents on the tennis court, and its application extends to players at any skill level.

Tennis Psychology is a science that is aiding athletes to bring out their talents on the tennis court. Players that possess a strong mental tennis game will gain a competitive edge over their opponents both physically and mentally.

tennis-psychologyTennis psychology relates to the many different factors that occur during a tennis match that will likely affect a tennis player at one point or another in competitive play.

Many of the concepts of the mind are complex and only beginning to be understood; however, every tennis player can agree that tennis psychology and the ability to master the mental tennis game can make a drastic difference between winning and losing a tennis match.

Mental Tennis Game and the Psychology

Tennis psychology involves anything that relates to the mental tennis game, and improving upon this area through mental tennis tips and increasing mental toughness in tennis. Look back at your own competitive match history and ask yourself, “How many tennis matches have you lost because you were psyched out, or you gave up mentally?” I am sure the answer is quite a few.

The brain controls the body, so mastering the mental part of tennis can be an astounding difference that can determine the fate of the match. The science of tennis psychology is now also applied to players at all levels as well. Sports Psychologists are helping athletes all over the world to use their minds to improve their game at full time tennis academies. As tennis is a very popular sport, an entire area of sports psychology is assigned to it, this field is called “Tennis Psychology”.

Tennis psychology is not simple coaching or mere mental tennis tips but in fact it is a proper study of the biology of players, the techniques of the sport and researched methods to better one’s game by focusing one’s mind.

What is Tennis Psychology?

Tennis psychology provides various techniques for players to improve their game. Using mental tennis principles to win tennis matches can be a rewarding strategy for tennis players at any skill level. These mental tennis ideas include:

1. Controlling ones thinking

The first mental tennis suggestion to win matches is to think positive. A person’s mindset is a key factor for a winning tennis game. Tennis psychology suggests the player keep his thoughts in check and not let negativity take over. If a player starts thinking negatively his body will react in a negative way. The player will feel tensed and with that he would react in involuntary ways as his ability to reason is compromised. He will act in ways that are not as effective for his game.

Tennis Psychologists suggest the players keep their thoughts positive and this can be done by remaining aware of your thoughts while playing. The more aware the player is of his thoughts the more he can push them to develop a more positive thought pattern. Examples include: positive self-talk prior to game point, pumping themselves up after winning a big point or simply fueling the mind with positive emotions and keeping a enthusiastic mentality during the tennis match. It’s important to maintain clear judgment and also stay motivated no matter what the score is or how badly he or she is losing the tennis match. Mastering the thought patterns to improve the tennis psychology aspect of the game is a difficult task to fulfill whilst concentrating on the fast paced game, but one that can make a huge difference.

2. Managing the emotions

The second mental tennis toughness suggestion is to manage the emotions during a tennis match. Being overly excited or being under excited both are bad for a player’s game. Tennis psychology suggests that a player should keep a balanced level of arousal throughout his game. This pertains to the energy level of a player. An overly excited player might make hasty uncalculated decisions and an under-excited one might not have the required level of motivation to play to his best abilities.

3. Factors of The Game That Are Intangible

The third suggestion to improve your mental tennis game is to identify the factors of the game that you can control and focus less on the one’s that are out of your control. Once on the court, many factors can arise that affect a player’s game but are out of his control. Examples of this would include: a player can’t control the abilities of his opponent or the weather or court conditions. He can’t control the supporters; however, the thing a player can control is how much attention he gives to these factors. If a player concentrates on these factors instead of focusing on the game at hand, he is bound to get de-motivated. He loses energy which he should use towards his own game’s strategy. Tennis psychology helps him work on this.

4. Refining one’s focus

tennis-psychology-tipsFourth, a big part of mental tennis toughness is to refine the focus to only the tennis match at hand, rather than obsess over the intangibles. The human brain works like a machine, but it is one better as it can be multitask. It can focus on many factors at one time. However, a task is best performed when most or all of the brain’s focus is on it. Tennis psychology teaches the players to keep their mind concentrated on the game throughout. At the beginning of any match, each player’s focus is the game but with time and uncontrollable factors, like time pressure or external pressure or the environment, they become less focused. Tennis psychology aids the players to keep their focus in check, and if they lose concentration to revert their attention back to the game.

5. Empty the Mind

During a tennis match, it’s important to focus clearly on the task at hand to win matches. It’s essential to clarify your mind by focusing in the current state of the match. This is a big part of mental tennis. Perceiving beforehand what the player’s next move will be is a very effective skill in a tennis match. A player’s imagination is one of the most useful tools he has, as visualizing his action helps him choose better techniques to tackle his opponent. With practice, tennis players know pretty much every consequence of their different hits. So by focusing their minds, they can actually visualize the events of the game and react better to the opponent’s moves.

6. Improve Confidence

If a tennis player wants to be a victor of the tennis match, then he or she has to make shots and execute the various tennis strategies with confidence. Confidence is a big part of a strong mental tennis game. Players that are considered to have mental toughness are those that execute well under pressure and appear to have confidence (even if they feel terrible) Remaining calm and confident when facing a challenge is a simple and effective tool that tennis psychology teaches to tennis players. Lack of confidence clouds a player’s judgment and makes him question his action, even before he performs them, which make him lose time and energy. Doubt in his own actions can lead to the player not to take the required risks of this game. Surety of one’s actions makes the tennis player perform better.

7. Identify and Removing Poor Thought Patterns

One can create miracles if one has a belief in their talent. Faith in one’s abilities is most vital for success in any endeavor. Limiting beliefs are one’s lack of this faith. It’s a complicated characteristic of the human psyche. It’s a weird way in which the human brain itself sabotages the player’s success. If a person even, deep down, doesn’t have faith in his own luck and strengths he can’t win. He lets the external factors affect their reactions in a game. Tennis psychology helps the person to fight these limiting beliefs and push through their strengths.

8. Getting in the zone

Tennis psychology proposes three ways of entering the zone where the mind and body are at sync. To have a strong mental tennis game, a player should strive to put themselves in the zone more often in a tennis match. The “zone” is a feeling of both immense focus and concentration where the mind is focused solely on hitting the tennis ball. Players that find themselves in the zone often usually are the best.

Roger Federer is a good example of a player that finds himself in the zone in many professional tennis matches. Once Federer is in the “zone,” he will hit winner after winner anywhere from the court. This is the same feeling that player’s at all levels should strive to achieve, which will put their mental tennis game to the next level. These are: The unit turn in tennis is one of the most important key aspects of tennis technique. Simply stated, the unit turn is where the body and racket turn sideways together as a “unit” to begin the preparation phase of the tennis stroke, whether its forehand or backhand strokes.

  • silencing the mind
  • trust in one’s strengths
  • non-judgment

These techniques are the basis of tennis psychology. These aid the players to perfect their brain to keep focusing on the game and keep their confidence boosted and as a result an improved game. Understanding and application of these techniques in areas even other than tennis of life ensure success.

By the management of self-thoughts, tennis players can tackle any challenge he faces with confidence. Tennis psychology gives the tennis player an upper hand on his opponent. Practice makes perfect, so regular practice of these techniques during training will increase his ability to effectively apply them in actual matches.

Tennis psychology not just helps a player improve his game it also helps a player become more efficient in judging the reactions of your opponent as it improves the concentration and visualization abilities of the player. The player becomes more pro-active.

Each person’s brain reacts differently. Therefore, the effect on these tennis psychology tips on the player’s abilities would vary. Each player’s emotions, confidence and most importantly the limiting beliefs are different. So each player has to focus on different areas of their mind’s abilities. Once a player understands his own mental strengths and weaknesses, he can play the best tennis with his abilities. And tennis psychology is one of his strongest strategies.

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March 10, 2015