Most players do not possess the mental toughness for tennis that the demands and pressures of a tennis match require. Mental tennis tips can help develop that strength.
Without practicing mental tennis tips, and developing mental toughness for tennis, you will very likely lose to lesser players. Mental tennis tips can help you gain the confidence, consistency, and concentration needed to win game after game.
Here are a few mental tennis tips for beginning players and advanced players:
The first of the mental tennis tips is this: Be versatile; multiple playing styles provide more strategic options. Without these options, you also have a shortage of mental safety valves. Psychological health is strengthed — on the tennis court and in general — when you have multiple courses of action from which to choose. Options are mentally empowering; a lack of options creates mental despair. As long as you have another playing style to revert to when one isn’t working, you won’t give up. So learn varied play; ideally, learn every kind of shot with every kind of spin from every region of the court. This is among the most reliable of all tennis tips.
The second mental tennis tip is designed to help to increase concentration. If you’re distracted in any way — due to nerves, anger, et cetera — repeat the simple phrase “only the ball”. The repetition will assist you in blocking out negative thoughts, and the words will remind you to keep your focus where it belongs — on the ball! Try it next time you play; you’ll be amazed how mental tennis tips can improve your game. Mental toughness in tennis is in part based on your own thought patterns and mentality.
Talking to your self during a match, as discussed in one of the mental tennis tips above, can improve mental toughness. Try other phrases for other situations, unique to the areas in which you find yourself “choking”. For example, if you are not following through on your strokes during matches, you might say to yourself “Don’t stop. Follow through”. Experiment with phrases until you’ve discovered ones that work for you in overpowering your negative subconscious inner voice, which is controlling your mind, and your play. Try these mental tennis tips — these mental tennis tips work!
Staying in the Moment
Here is another one of the mental tennis tips that can improve your concentration and consistency. Often, particularly during a significant match, we dwell on the errors we make, the points we miss. We focus on what we’re doing wrong in a match and end up frustrating ourselves even more. We, in essence, mentally beat ourselves up until our concentration falters, and we are no longer functioning to our ability. But with a minimum of 120 points per match, why worry about each one missed? Mental tennis tips advocate that you focus on the present instead — you must play in the moment in order to succeed!
You can’t change previous shots, so forget about them, and play one point at a time. This means also not planning ahead — just stay in the moment! Your next shot is all you can control, so that should be your sole focus. Keep this and other mental tennis tips in mind every time you step on the court.
Improve Your Body Language
Many mental tennis tips involve the strategic use of body language. Know that the way you use body language can directly affect your opponent’s mental state and the outcome of the match. Practice these mental tennis tips — avoid negative body language! Negative body language likely occurs when you’re losing. You may drop your shoulders, shake your head, and demonstrate frustration in other manner (perhaps even cursing). Your opponent sees that you are losing control. This realization increases his or her energy levels; and in all likelihood he or she begins playing even better than before witnessing the negative body language. Your chances of moving into the lead decrease. But by simply avoiding negative body language, you can prevent your opponent from this advantage. Mental tennis tips involving strategic use of body language are among the most important.
Mental toughness for tennis is an important ingredient to have for every tennis player that wants to achieve success. Following up on the last of the mental tennis tips, here are mental tennis tips involving positive body language. Most players exhibit positive body language when winning a game: grinning, shoulders up, head held high — even the occasional fist pump. Why not display some of this positive body language when losing? Force yourself to follow these mental tennis tips. You’ll intimidate your opponent. And you’ll also invigorate your own game; by displaying body language that indicates you’re winning, your body will act as if it’s winning, full of adrenaline and increased focus. So think about your body language and these mental tennis tips next time you’re in a match; exhibit positive body language and avoid negative body language, and you’ll be at a great advantage! As with all mental tennis tips, the primary message here is “Don’t be afraid”! Be confident — or at least, look like you are.
Establish a Rhythm for Mental Toughness
Here’s another of the most useful mental tennis tips. Establish the rhythm of the game with key words. For instance, when your opponent tosses the ball, say “ball”; when he or she hits the ball, say “Hit”; when the ball bounces, say “bounce”. You’re formalizing the rhythm of the game with words, keeping the beat so to speak — and, this can help greatly with your concentration and consistency. Or, try these mental tennis tips: count each time your opponent hits the ball, which can also increase concentration and consistency. Experiment with these mental tennis tips until you find what works for you.
Many great mental tennis tips also involve “visualization into reality” or “positive visualization”. For instance, if you are standing on the baseline about to serve, imagine the following as you bounce the ball in front of you. You smoothly hit your very best serve — it travels down the middle of the deuce court; your opponent is jammed. Continue to visualize yourself elegantly running the path of your serve.
Your opponent hits a return. You are on-balance, ready to return the ball. Such positive visualization has been proven to increase achievement. (Negative visualization, also known as self-doubt, has been proven to do the opposite.) If you go to the baseline to serve with a negative thought in your head, take a moment and step back, then refocus with positive visualization. Begin your serving ritual again, now with a better mindset. Use these mental tennis tips — visualizations — continuously as you play; you’ll see the results these mental tennis tips bring.
Also, try these mental tennis tips at night, right before falling asleep. Visualize yourself hitting blistering groundstrokes, crushing overheads, and angle volleys. Visualize yourself serving exactly the way you wish to serve. Visualize your perfect match. Then go to sleep. You may find this positive visualization advances your game to a greater degree than any of the other mental tennis tips.
Never Give-Up Mentality
And finally, perhaps the most important in mental toughness for tennis: never give up! Adversity will occur in just about every tennis match you play. Choosing mental tennis tips to confront said adversity may result in success; not choosing mental tips to confront said adversity will likely result in failure. And the best act of mental toughness for tennis is to never surrender, never retreat — that is, keep playing with a winning, positive attitude, point by point, until the last point has been played. Don’t let negative thoughts of defeat cloud your judgment and affect your play.
And, to continue the mental tennis tips above, with your “never give up” attitude intact, consider how your opponent is winning, what is his or her strategy — and, then alter your game to respond. For instance, if he or she is winning from the baseline, try sending him or her a few short angled slice shots perhaps near the service lines. This may change the game entirely by taking your opponent out of his or her comfort zone. Again, the most important lesson of all within the mental tennis tips is to never give up!
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