Taking it to the next level

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Blee1613, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. Blee1613

    Blee1613 Semi-Pro

    Feb 13, 2010
    My coach says I have all the tools I need to take it to the next level. I've got a decent net game, I have a good baseline game, and I'm playing smart. But one thing I don't have is a mental edge. I am extremely weak mentally. For example, I can never close out a game. I'll be up 40-0, 40-15 and I can never convert. Also whenever I make a mistake, it starts to build up. Once I make my first mistake, everything starts to go downhill from there.

    Help please?
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    It's not something you can learn from a book, but something experience gives you a HINT at, but you have to buckle down and do the necessary WORK.
    Play tons of matches or sets, if matches can't be arranged. Keep a certain level of concentration and effort...as much as you can muster and still have some FUN. If it's pure work, it's not fun, and you'll soon give up.
    Spend more time on the courts, playing varied levels of players, and work on yourself, your emotions, your concentration, all with regards to your desire to improve.
    Getting better is just more work and practice, and the mental game can sometimes take much longer to groove than the physical strokes and conditioning. Unfortunately, the mind is much trickier to manipulate than the body.
  3. EP1998

    EP1998 Semi-Pro

    Dec 18, 2008
    The post above is correct. There are some good books too. I highly recommend Maximum Tennis by Nick Saviano, which is written from a player development point of view. The Jim Loehr books are great too. Mental strength is learned, just like groundies or any other part of the game. You can improve it with focus and hard work. Never buy into to the I am weak mentally concept - no one is that way and if they are it can be fixed! All players have to work on their mental game.
  4. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

    Oct 20, 2006
    Think about the difference between a setting where you're up 40-0 or 40-15 and another where let's say it's the start of the game or maybe the score is simply 15-all. When you've got that lead, you go into cruise control, but when the game is just starting out, you've got no score to reflect on yet and you simply play the point.

    One of the key mental disciplines in tennis (in the amateur opinion of this tennis nerd) is developing the ability to wipe the slate clean in our heads from one point to the next. I like to refer to this as learning to count to one. When a point is over, revisit your basic plan and think about what you want to do to go after this next point and nothing more. That breaks down the big task of playing a whole match into many smaller, more manageable jobs.

    With your focus more in the moment, you'll be less likely to ease up when you've earned a lead in a game or a set, but you'll also have a better ability to resist playing in a defeated, desperate mode when you've fallen behind. Sure it's repetitious, but that's the discipline of it. Practice the ritual of planning and playing nothing more than the next point. Lather, rinse, repeat...
  5. ahuimanu

    ahuimanu Rookie

    Apr 4, 2010
    Start by changing your vocabulary...yes, you CAN!

    Nothing like a hot cup of Nick Bollettieri to get your confidence back... :)

  6. Blee1613

    Blee1613 Semi-Pro

    Feb 13, 2010
    So just basically try and forget anything that has happened in the match so far.

    And haha thanks for the motivational video. I'm gonna go "win" my practice.

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