Tennis: A Mental War Zone
When many of us think of tennis, we think of the rackets hitting the ball back and forth over a net. What many of us miss, however, is the mental battle going on inside each player. The few times our minds really turn to the player’s mental battle is when they throw a tantrum out of frustration. This tantrum includes throwing rackets, and hitting the ball with unnecessary force. While it may be entertaining for the audience, it can be embarrassing for the actual player, and encouraging for their opponent. The anger can also cause a player to slightly change their grip, or timing, when they hit the ball, which can make a huge difference in your play.
Passion is great and may even be necessary to play sports at a higher level, but there is a distinct line between passion for the sport and incriminating yourself. Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody’s level of play is not always equal. It is okay to feel upset after losing a point or a game, however being upset about 1 point shouldn’t turn into giving away multiple points. As long as you are still playing, you have a chance to get the next point. Some people may struggle with keeping a positive and constructive mindset during their matches, though, so we’ve put together a list of suggestions to help.
- Realize people (including you) can, and are allowed to, make mistakes
- Tennis is a game. Enjoy it as any kind of game should be enjoyed.
- Give yourself compliments when you’ve achieved something good.
- Make it a goal never to say or think negative of yourself.
- Focus on your breathing in between points.
- Try singing or counting from down from 10 between points.
- Have someone videotape your play. You can watch yourself and build up from your experiences.
Whatever tips or suggestions you try to implement into your game, it can only help you play. We wish you the best of luck on your journey.
Please remember throwing rackets, hitting tarps/banners, slamming rackets into the ground, yelling profanity, and aggressively hitting balls across the court or into the ground all show poor etiquette, are point penalties in match play, and show a lack of respect for the facility, the players on your court, and the players on nearby courts.
If you would like more information on this topic, please feel free to read the following articles: