3 tips to become stronger mentally
How can we be stronger mentally? The Tecnimag has some advices for you
Your level of play can be taken one step higher by focusing your attention on playing every point with the same intensity.
With a specific method, your focus can quickly increase. No matter what you are thinking, you are probably not playing every point with the same intensity. Are you aware that you are more concerned by the game or set point than one point at a time?
Many moments of the match can cause this decrease of mental intensity. For example, after I won the 1st set, I often slow down and starts making unforced errors. When I am easily leading, I mentally check out of the match.
Or what about those moments of frustration after missing an easy shot? Perhaps even a good luck from my opponent? In two minutes, you can remember these moment and end up losing 3 games in a row. A lot of players deal with this problem without knowing how to avoid it.
The first step is to help them to become aware of this decrease of focus. Simply by leaving his comfort zone a little bit more every day, he can learn how to condition his mental state on the court without any help.
3 clues to progress
Learn during training to not make any unforced errors.
Usually, your child makes a lot of unforced errors during training and that don’t disturb him. Paradoxically, those same errors make him mad during matches. The idea is to reverse this process. Don’t accept any errors during training, but be tolerant during matches.
How can you do it during practice?
It’s very important to have a precise intention behind every shot. I play every zone with the quality, speed, effect, and direction that I choose.
It is important to say no after every error and making the effort to fix your mistake on the following ball. Be sure to focus on your footwork, because if your placement is good you will make less and less unforced errors.
90% of the unforced errors are the result of a bad process. Consider when:
- You play without any intention
- Your placement is not precise
- The shot played is missing engagement
Tip: play an entire practice with only two balls, pushing you to change your habits and go out of your comfort zone.
Learn how repetitively have good series
Frequently, you slow down after a good game or a good set and easily drop a few points to your opponent because you are not there mentally.
How can you do it during practice?
A good point or a good series should challenge you to love to reproduce the good sequences.
Playing the same shot 2, 3 or even 10 times is something that takes a special effort of focus. Identify the purpose of repetition, then by trying, failing, and trying again you will begin to gain awareness.
Tip: the serve work is an excellent way to reinforce your capability to reproduce good series. Choose a service zone based on your level and try to put the ball in it 10 times in a row. After every mistake restart at 0.
Learn how to break a negative spiral
We’ve all been through a series of points or games with a bad attitude, frustration, or anger. What process should you set up to get out of this negative spiral?
In these moments of tension, the solution is to find positive things that will guide you in the right direction.
But how can I implement this in a match?
If I am in the first set, for example, and I’m playing badly, I must keep thinking that the match is not over and accept the fact I wasn’t at my best at the start.
The second set is a new challenge to figure out. There’s still a chance, so I must step it up and play this chance like it’s my last.
Looking for an opening will help you to get to something else and get away from a frustrating moment.
It’s a process that allows you to come back to the present, forgetting the frustration and looking forward
I made a good forehand, I won a tough rally, my opponent is missing a lot on the backhand side, an opening is motivating me and I’m able to come back in the match.
The habit of having clear intentions in my shots, the capacity to be present at every time on the court, my resilience in the match and being able to forget frustrating moments are all performance levers.
In the same way that becoming technically or physically strong takes time and requires a lot of work, becoming mentally strong is a long process.
Don't judge you. Take up challenges and get away from your comfort zone by entrusting you to skilled professionals.
Pierre Bayssat : For 5 years as a physical education teacher in high school, I tried to pass on a love of physical activity to the greatest number.
Then, my passion for performance led me to tennis, so I went into player’s training.
So I passed the 1st and 2nd level state certificates, taught tennis in club then the French Tennis Federation asked me to become federal coach. I work today as Deputy CEO of Tecnifibre.