In this week’s tennis psychology podcast, mental game of tennis expert, Dr. Patrick Cohn answers:
A question from a tennis parent whose player is tense when she is at the service line. She wants to know how help her daughter serve more relaxed.
Dr. Cohn gives mental game tips on how to improve confidence in tennis.
Listen to this month’s tennis psychology podcast to learn how to improve your performance in tennis and other mental game barriers that limit your performance.
“This is a very important part of the instruction I do, teaching athletes pre-service routines and also pre-return of service routines as well. I find when I’m working with my students on routines, I’ll ask them to describe what they are doing in their service routine. The answer I typically get is, ‘I get on the service line, I bounce the ball three times, I toss the ball and I hit the serve.’
Certainly that’s a routine, but those are the physical components of the routine. Meaning you have to do those to execute a serve. But hardly ever do I hear an athlete talk about the mental component of the routine.
So for me, consistent performance comes from consistent mental and physical preparation. Just having a physical routine, tennis players can do that in their sleep. What I teach athletes is, ‘Hey, look, that’s the easy part. What you really need to do is have a mental routine.’ “
Listen to the audio below to hear how Dr. Cohn would address this issue:
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What are tennis players saying?
“Danielle did really well with controlling her emotions during the matches today. We were very proud of her for not showing her frustrations during the match; I think that was a big accomplishment. She really looked in control of her emotions even when she double faulted or made mistakes. The changes we saw on Danielle’s behavior in less than 24 hours were AWESOME! Thank you for your guidance!”
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“Maggie had such a great weekend. As always, after she works with you she just seems more grounded and focused. She’s less likely to look around and get distracted during her match. She’s more focused on one point at a time. Also, as a parent, I’ve learned to encourage her process goals and not outcomes. Consequently, she played well and won her first doubles match, upsetting a seeded team in a really really close match!”
~Katherine Johnson Cannata, Maggie’s mother