It’s no surprise that tennis is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. You may need to work on speed, stamina and strength to improve your shots. But tennis is especially extremely demanding on a mental point of view. To become a better tennis player, you need to develop a very strong mental foundation. Without it, the fear that you’ll experience during the game can completely paralyze you and result in a bad loss. There are a few things that can happen as a result of this fear, but hopefully there are ways to overcome it. Here’s how.
Causes of Fear
Tennis is so exhilarating when you’re winning and it can be so devastating when you’re losing. If you’re playing a great game and begin to mess up or get into a bit of trouble, fear can really cause you to panic and lose the game. This is true even when you would normally have pulled it off. The fear seems to take control and render you unable to play the game as well as you normally would have. This is due to having a weak mental foundation for playing the game.
Another way that the fear can take control of you is while you’re ahead, and leading in the game. Why would you fear that? Well, some people start to get nervous when they are winning and they begin to defend their lead. This will make them start to play cautiously and stop doing the things they were doing which brought them to the lead in the first place. They may stop the aggressive game play that gave them the upper hand and this can cause trouble.
Building that Strong Foundation
In order to stop this fear from creating these problems, you need to develop a very strong mental foundation which will allow you to overcome that fear and play at your best no matter what is happening. There is a key for doing this, and that is to play in the moment. Don’t make the mistake of playing for the next moment, and getting all worked up about the points ahead. You simply have to play for the exact moment that you are in, and to block out everything else.
This takes a lot of work, and in order to develop this skill, you play. That’s it? Yes, that’s it. Playing the game and losing, experiencing heartbreaks and triumphs and simply getting a great experience of the game as a whole gives you this mental strength which allows you to play in the moment. You’ll be at ease, and you won’t panic or feel the need to overplay in order to defend your lead. Even the very best pro players had to develop this foundation in order to compete at the highest level. So, practice the game and gain as much experience as you can. This way, you’ll always be able to play for the moment, and you will always play at your best.