Tennis Podcast: How To Coach a Perfectionist in Tennis

How To Handle Perfectionist Players


In this week’s tennis psychology podcast, mental game of tennis expert, Dr. Patrick Cohn answers a question from a tennis coach who says:

“Many tennis players are perfectionists, a lot of times the coach cannot identify this mental game problem of the player. I don’t know how to help players overcome this problem. How can coaches help this type of player?”

Inner game of tennis expert, Dr. Cohn, gives mental game tips on how to identify the characteristics of perfectionists and help players overcome perfectionism 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.

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1 thought on “Tennis Podcast: How To Coach a Perfectionist in Tennis”

  1. I was a perfectionist, and now, some 36 years later, I still battle lingering and recurrent traces. I can see coach’s difficulty in helping perfectionists, since I have had so much trouble dealing with myself. Recognition of the problem was finally helpful; in my case it was an extreme solipcism, so when I played, whether socially or competitively, there was never any other player playing with me–my play was purely self -expression, or, rather, full expression of what i perceived to be a beautiful idea, and it did not matter whether it was obtainable or not. In fact, its final unobtainability made it almost more attractive.
    We need to find other ways of talking about strokes and game without valuation. Our omnipresent “good strokes,” “beautiful strokes” and emphasizing practice until you achieve that elusive bar works against people playing a game. Yes, discipline is good, but only as directed to enabling you to play in this and other situations like it. The kind of pressure that builds up in oc personalities when continually given valuation from outside allows them to generate a failing not-expectation, not hope, but a self-fulfilling prophecy when they do compete, and they cannot live with it, or without it. Self-killing performance anxiety! Your identity is at stake with every move you make, every stroke you hit, every game you play, and in every match!

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