How to Comeback From a Layoff With Confidence
Layoffs are inevitable in the sport of tennis if you play long enough. Nagging injuries, season-ending injuries, illness and personal issues are some of the causes of layoffs in your athletic career.
The duration of the layoff affects both your physical and mental readiness to return to your previous level of play.
It can be challenging to get ready physically to compete after a layoff.
Physical strength, speed, reaction time, timing and endurance take a lot of time rebuild. To be physically ready, you have to work yourself into playing shape.
Not only do you have to rebuild your strength and stamina, the biggest hurdles to overcome is the mind game and returning to competition with confidence:
- Rehabbing from injury requires that you deal with frustration, discomfort and fears.
- Returning to competition calls for you to manage the unrealistic expectations that you should just pick up where you left off.
- Mentally pushing yourself to improve endurance is an important factor for a successful comeback.
- Reworking aspects of your technique requires a strong focus to reinforce positive technical habits.
- Dealing with poor workouts takes a LOT of mental strength in order to stay motivated and continue working towards your return to competition.
- Getting over the fear of failure and the need to be perfect are potential challenges you need to work through in order to successfully return to competition.
Physical readiness to compete first requires the mental readiness to prepare.
Serena Williams is a great example of an athlete whose strong mental skills put her in the best possible position for a successful return to tennis.
Serena, 36, is a 23-time Grand Slam champion and has spent the majority of her career atop the world of women’s tennis.
Serena has returned to competition following a thirteen month layoff after dealing with scary health complications, including blood clots forming in her lungs from giving birth to her first child.
Although Williams has her sights on winning at least 25 Grand Slam titles, which would break the record held by Margaret Court, Williams is definitely taking things one step at a time.
WILLIAMS: “I have long-term goals obviously. Right now my main goal is just to stay in the moment.”
Returning to competition is a process… a process that requires patience, physical endurance and mental strength to deal with the ups and downs if you are to have a successful return to tennis.
WILLIAMS: “It’s definitely the start of a long process. You have to start, and I’m ready… I’ve been fighting against all odds to be out there, to be competing again. Every day I get better and I get stronger, and that’s just something I always keep telling myself every day. Be better.”
Be patient. Be diligent. Be mentally strong.
And focus on the process of getting better each and every day
A Tip For Returning to Tennis After a Long Layoff:
To stay focused on the process, set daily practice objectives and weekly goals.
What would you like to accomplish in training this week? What would move you forward in training this week? How will you measure improvement?
Keeping track of small goals will allow you to focus on the process and build your confidence with each step forward.
Please don’t turn your goals into expectations–there is a big difference in striving to attain goals and the pressure you feel to meet expectations!
Learn Proven Tennis Mental Game Strategies To Perform Your Best On The Court!
Are you (or your players) performing up to your ability in competition?
Do you bring your best and most confident game to matches?
I often hear players complain about the following problems when they play in matches…
- “I get so tight or tense before matches that I can’t think straight or have any rhythm in my game.”
- “My confidence seems to disappear when I go from practice to matches and I don’t know why.”
- “I get so frustrated with hitting bad shots or with errors and it snowballs.”
- “I expect so much when I play that I unravel and lose confidence when the match does not go as planned.”
Successful tennis players have learned how to perform with ultimate confidence in tournaments.
If you are ready to improve your mental toughness and perform with ultimate self-confidence in matches, Tennis Confidence: Mental Toughness For Tournament Players can help you do this!
Players: Learn how to take control of your confidence, focus your best, and win more close matches.
Parents: Help boost your junior tennis player’s confidence for tournaments. Just load the program on your player’s IPod!
Coaches: Boost your team’s confidence using simple, proven mental strategies.
Instructors: Learn how to give your students the mental game advantage.
Use Tennis Confidence to help boost your mental toughness in tennis and discover powerful and proven mental game strategies that have helped professional athletes win!
What are mental game customers saying?
“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
“She 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 in her behavior in less than 24 hours were AWESOME! Thank you for your guidance!”
~Jennifer, Tennis Parent
“I want to let you know that your “Tennis Confidence” CD program has been extremely helpful to me. I listen to the CDs in the car and the program is helping me overcome a lifetime of tournament performance Anxiety. Thank you!”
~Wing Yu, Tennis Player
Boost Your Self-Confidence in Tennis With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach, Dr. Patrick Cohn, can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal mental game coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone.
Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 (local: 407-909-1700) or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our mental coaching students saying?
“Dr. Cohn did a great job working with my son Joe on his mental skills for tennis. He taught him the mental skills and discipline necessary to move to the next level. Thanks Doc!”
~Mike Withers, Joe Withers Father
“Dr. Cohn, one of my goals is to become a world-class-coach. There are a few coaches from the US who inspired me the most–John Wooden, Don Shula, and Pat Riley. After working with you, I now also list your name among the most influential coaches in my field!”
“Since you last worked with AJ in early September, his National ranking has improved from 349 to 148. His tournament record at one point, since talking with you was 17-4, with 3 of the 4 being in third sets or tiebreakers and 2 of those matches being the same player, whom he has since beaten (you may recall he was on an 0-9 losing streak when we contacted you). His tie-breaker record is at least 90% through last weekend when he won the 18s District tournament with a semi and final match tiebreak win. Your help has definitely improved AJ’s results and his on-court demeanor has substantially improved.”
~Dawn Woodman, A.J.’s Mother