Help with motivation and staying focused?

Hey all, so I’m just gonna admit I’m having trouble staying motivated playing tennis during a match, especially when I just can’t hit. I understand a lot of people have issues like this, but as of recent I just have not felt a major self-confidence push to try to succeed in tournaments.
 
Hey all, so I’m just gonna admit I’m having trouble staying motivated playing tennis during a match, especially when I just can’t hit. I understand a lot of people have issues like this, but as of recent I just have not felt a major self-confidence push to try to succeed in tournaments.
Try restricting your focus to just one point: the current one [or the one that's about to begin]. Forget about the past ["Why did I blow that 5-2 lead?"] and the future ["If I just hold serve I'll win the match!"] and stay present.

If you can do this, and it's no mean feat, you'll be on your way to maintaining focus.

Keeping your motivation up is more difficult, IMO. Why do you play? If it's for the competition, make it a competition with yourself as well as with your opponent: see how well you can execute, how cleanly you can strike the ball, how well you can move your opponent around, etc. Don't settle for the W if you played mediocrely to achieve it.

Also, be process-oriented, not results-oriented. You mentioned success in tournaments: I assume you're defining success by winning. Try instead focus on the process and let the results take care of themselves.
 

Bagel Boy

New User
Try restricting your focus to just one point: the current one [or the one that's about to begin].
Spot on. You cannot hit a solid/clean/purposeful shot while you brain is taxed with preoccupations beyond your current control.

It's the the difference between seeing the ball and watching the ball. Returning the ball and hitting the ball. Playing and competing.
 

getagrip

New User
Very common with multiple variable factors such as weather, equipment, audience, your mindfulness and your opponent.

There are control points that you command and then others that you don’t.

Suggested regime to keep the focus-
1. Have a pre-game routine. Warm up, your pep-up music, something that you do and keeps you in sync.
2. While playing - focus on the ball at all times, that’s the goal, that’s the subject, that’s the winning objective. Rest all parameters are defined to decide what the ball does, where does it land - like court markings, net position, racket dynamics.
3. Once you get better at ball focus, start focusing on the seams of the ball for enhanced focus.
4. Stop trash talking your opponent and if you don’t then stop talking at all(even on the points you hit well). Stop acknowledging appreciation from the audience or opponents. Develop a restrictive peripheral vision that you only see the court and everything else blurs out. Free to talk after the game but keep it to ‘feel’ topics and not ‘personal’ capability topics.
5. Read. This is a very scientific sport that digs deep on the psychological aspects. Gets books that help you enhance your state. I’d recommend The Inner Game of Tennis to start with.

When the day is not going as per usual, slow down your game and let it be. Your mind and body may be demanding a break from the monotony.

Try rotating between different courts if you can. Like going to a different academy or courts you have never tried in the same academy.

You got this!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

tomato123

Semi-Pro
I was shown a video on the dreaded "y" word (yoga) during a training on self-care at my work recently, and it was one of the videos on "yoga for first responders."

Emphasis was on learning how to do something as simple sounding as "breathing properly" to maintain your focus and calm during high stress situations. And apparently, breathing techniques used by snipers are literally the same thing as yoga breathing exercises, so over time I've been more invested into yoga as a means of centering myself, being mindful, and training myself to be focused and relaxed - Whereas before, it was just a series of silly poses that I didn't want to do or couldn't do (still can't do, but I'm trying!).
 

Wise one

Hall of Fame
Hey all, so I’m just gonna admit I’m having trouble staying motivated playing tennis during a match, especially when I just can’t hit. I understand a lot of people have issues like this, but as of recent I just have not felt a major self-confidence push to try to succeed in tournaments.
I can't be bothered to answer....

Nyuk nyuk nyuk!
 
I was shown a video on the dreaded "y" word (yoga) during a training on self-care at my work recently, and it was one of the videos on "yoga for first responders."

Emphasis was on learning how to do something as simple sounding as "breathing properly" to maintain your focus and calm during high stress situations. And apparently, breathing techniques used by snipers are literally the same thing as yoga breathing exercises, so over time I've been more invested into yoga as a means of centering myself, being mindful, and training myself to be focused and relaxed - Whereas before, it was just a series of silly poses that I didn't want to do or couldn't do (still can't do, but I'm trying!).
Now what we need is "Yoga for Snipers".
 

2-Step-Q

New User
I have a similar problem. It kicked in pretty hard today. Had a 5-1 lead with 40-15 on my serve. The thought "I'm gonna win this. 1 more serve and its over!" crossed my mind and the next thing I knew it was 5-3. Whenever I start thinking about the game score I start losing bad. Whether I'm ahead or behind. So lately I'll take a step back, put my racquet in my non-dominant hand, take a deep breath, and say "There's solid ground under my feet. That'll never change. Let's play THIS point" Personally I tried having a Nadal like routine and I just end up rushing through it. So focusing on something never changing like the ground helps me. Give it a shot. It might just help
 

ubercat

Semi-Pro
7-11 breathing works close to instantly. Push the air into your diaphragm your lower belly should be going out. Then slowly let it out for 11 seconds. Do that twice. That should snap the emotional thoughts running around your mind.
 
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I have a similar problem. It kicked in pretty hard today. Had a 5-1 lead with 40-15 on my serve. The thought "I'm gonna win this. 1 more serve and its over!" crossed my mind and the next thing I knew it was 5-3. Whenever I start thinking about the game score I start losing bad. Whether I'm ahead or behind. So lately I'll take a step back, put my racquet in my non-dominant hand, take a deep breath, and say "There's solid ground under my feet. That'll never change. Let's play THIS point" Personally I tried having a Nadal like routine and I just end up rushing through it. So focusing on something never changing like the ground helps me. Give it a shot. It might just help
This should be your routine on every point, not just when you feel you need it [that's why they call it a "routine"].
 
Great question, and I think some of the answers above are great.


Let me add a few more remarks:

Tennis is a difficult sport because we are battling against an opponent on our own, we lose many points even if we are playing well, and a match is not won until we complete the last point successfully. So it is normal that our emotions will shift throughout a match, and the goal is to try and be in our best performance state as much as possible ( and not all the time).

So my first comment is, we need to drop perfection, and be compassionate towards ourself for trying our best and hanging into a match, even when we feel less motivated.

Now the secret to really amplifying your motivation is to enjoy a match beyond just specific outcomes that we can't always control, like winning. Instead, we want to find a purpose that goes beyond winning,. For example this might mean to enjoy the challenge of pushing your limits and developing your character by developing traits like focus, discipline and resilience.

In this case its important to think of character traits you want to develop both off and on the tennis court, create a training plan to develop one character trait at a time and then use your matches to show case those traits.

You might also enjoy competing because you know that ever match will help you learn new skills that will help you become a better tennis player.

In that case you want to create a ritual whereby you analyze matches so you can learn from them and improve.

Or you might love competing because you love celebrating wins with your loved ones.

In that case, you need to of course accept you can't always win but at the same time visualize winning matches and then celebrating with your coach, your partner and your support team.

The key here is that you need a strong WHY that will justify your hard work and your efforts to become the best tennis player you can, and to give your best throughout your matches....
 
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