Mental Tennis

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by phishbiscuits, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. phishbiscuits

    phishbiscuits Rookie

    Dec 11, 2012
    Hello Everyone:

    I struggle mightily with my mental game. I have decent fundamentals and a good serve, but they all suffer because I "get in my head" and "get down on myself" when I make mistakes.

    I try to focus on a small thing, like keeping my tossing arm up on a serve longer, etc, to avoid fixating on making mistakes, but it doesn't always work.

    It is holding me back and I'm very frustrated.

    I know there's no easy fix, but any tips would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

    Oct 12, 2012
    Drink a beer before a match? It helps relax a little.

    Other than that I find it that there is no set way to get mentally strong. I tell myself that it's just a game and think of it like practice and it works well for me. I'm also aware of my own limitations so if I mess up I just make a mental note to practice that next time and move on. You already took the major step of identifying that you do have a mental game going on so the next step is to try different things and see what helps you.
  3. StringingIrvine

    StringingIrvine Semi-Pro

    Apr 23, 2009
    Irvine, Southern California
    Here are my tips:

    Its okay to get hard on yourself, but you have to be able to come back from it. Be mad at yourself for making the mistake but learn from it, or figure out why it happened. If you beat yourself up too much you'll just end up going crazy.

    From Brad Gilberts "winning ugly" - "dance with the person you brought to the dance" if you are playing well and you are winning, a couple mistakes here and there are okay. Just make sure you continue to stick with your original game plan. I've seen a lot of rec plays blow a 5-1 leed because they lose a service game and try mixing things up.

    Another great tip I use is make excuses for your opponent which relieves pressure from yourself. If we are on serve and my opponent wins his serve, I don't get down on myself too hard because he's SUPPOSED to win his serve.

    I think a majority of players at the rec level don't formulate plans. I bet everyone on tennis talk does, but I don't think we are the majority of players. If you have a game plan you have something to put your mind toward which might relieve some of that anger.
  4. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

    Dec 12, 2012
    On the courts; hard & clay ...
    take it point by point... 'reset' mentally between points...
  5. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

    Jun 29, 2009
    1313 Mockingbird Lane.
    this. gotta live point by point. cant make up for lost points and you cant win more than one point at a time.
  6. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

    Oct 20, 2006
    Vic Braden wrote a fantastic book several years back with the same title as your thread here (Mental Tennis). Read that one and you ought to be a whole lot more squared away than you are now. With some understanding and practice, you'll be able to manage your head just fine.
  7. jakeytennis

    jakeytennis Rookie

    Jan 6, 2013
    get rid of emotional reactions after points. just calm down, relax, and move on.

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