Go for Broke in Tennis
Going-for-broke original meaning was to wager everything while gambling on one roll of the dice.
As a tennis player, you may interpret this mindset as playing every point perfectly. Trying to play every point perfectly is counterproductive to peak performance.
If you gauge success as hitting each shot flawlessly or winning every point, you will interpret an unforced error, double fault, or inaccurate return as failure.
Therefore, failing to win every point or hit the perfect shot would make you feel like a failure.
Would feeling like a failure inspire you to play better tennis? Definitely not!
If you tweak the definition, you can interpret going for broke in a positive light. Instead of shooting for perfection, think of going for broke as being “all in.”
All in means you are fully focused and committed to playing each point to the best of your ability.
When you are all in, your confidence is at its peak. You are aggressive on the court. Your mindset is to play to win instead of avoiding mistakes.
Twenty-year-old Holger Rune defeated six-time champion Novak Djokovic at the 2023 Internazionali BNL d’Italia, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2. Despite dropping the second set after an hour rain delay, Rune stayed focused and maintained his aggressive mindset to win the final set decisively.
“When you want to close the match, it’s really difficult. [Novak] puts a lot of pressure on you, but I managed to hit some good shots and stay brave. I think I was a little less brave in the second set, but after the rain delay, I managed to come out and be brave even though I lost the set. I just told myself, ‘Okay, it’s all right. I just have to keep going,'” Rune said.
Going for broke or, as Rune stated, “being brave” boosts confidence. When you are all in, you look for opportunities to win points.
You realize that hitting effective shots is more important than hitting perfect shots. You understand that staying aggressive is worth the risk, even though you may lose the point.
When you go for broke, especially when competing against high-ranked opponents, you will feel you have less to lose and everything to gain.
Remember, going for broke means being all in, fully immersed in the match, and battling for each point. Maintaining this type of mindset fosters your ability to perform at your peak.
When you are all in for each point, you play each point as its own battle. Therefore, resetting after each point and engaging in the moment is important.
A pre-point routine will set you up to replicate your aggressive mindset before each point.
The key to creating an effective routine is to keep it consistent, whether winning or losing, playing your best, or competing with your “B” game.
Always remember to have a positive intention of what you want to do on the point, not what you want to avoid.
Related Tennis Psychology Articles
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- Stepping Up Your Tennis Game
- Why Improve Your Mental Toughness Skills
- Download our a FREE Tennis Psychology Report
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