How to Maintain Instead of Regain Confidence in Tennis

Does Confidence Come From Belief in Skills or Results

Confidence in tennis is the belief that you have the skills to hit your shots, stay mentally tough, have strong agility, and the physical conditioning to accomplish your goals.

Yet, confidence is the most common area that tennis players identify as lacking in their game.

The most common theme in our mental game of tennis surveys is confidence, in particular how to build the necessary levels of confidence to get to the next level in the sport.

One tennis player said he’s frustrated with his lack of confidence and how it is holding him back from reaching his potential:

“I get very frustrated after losses. I lose confidence and, then, I find my way into a slump. How can I regain confidence, and a belief in myself, after a continuous losing streak against opponents of the same caliber or those I have beaten in the past?”

Instead of thinking about regaining confidence, consider working towards maintaining the confidence you have. Here’s the difference between regaining confidence and maintaining confidence…

Regaining confidence implies you either have confidence or you don’t have confidence. This type of confidence is solely based on your immediate performance.

When you win, you are confident. When you lose, you are not confident.

Performance-based confidence is problematic. Since success requires confidence and you have lost confidence due to losing, it becomes extremely difficult to break the low-confidence, bad-performance cycle.

Maintaining confidence is less affected by outcomes. Maintaining confidence is a proactive approach designed for you to continually build confidence. When you proactively build confidence, you take responsibility and seek ways to improve your confidence on a daily basis.

Winning or losing can impact your confidence to some degree but it is not the only factor that helps you maintain a certain degree of confidence.

Tennis great Roger Federer understands both the need for confidence and how to maintain high confidence through the highs and lows over the course of a career.

Federer has maintained strong confidence through the better part of his career despite losses and early exits from tournaments.

FEDERER: “I learned that there would always be another chance after each defeat, even cruel ones… That sums up our life as tennis players. At one point, nothing works. And suddenly everything is back to normal. That’s why you should never stick your head in the sand.”

The lesson to be learned from Federer is that yesterday’s loss is in the past and the past has very little bearing on the next match.

Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. To go even further, sometimes you can play your best tennis and still lose and some days you can have an unusual amount of unforced errors and still pull off the victory.

How Maintain Your Confidence:

If you base your confidence solely on outcomes, you will never have the stable confidence necessary to play with confidence on a consistent basis.

Instead of focusing solely on wins and losses, focus on the skills and talents you have, such as speed, quickness, anticipation, tactics, etc., which do not go away even after losing a set or match.

Focus on the skills you have going into the match rather than the outcome of the last match or worrying about the next match. You develop confidence from belief in your skills, not win/lose percentage.

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Tennis Confidence: Mental Game Strategies for Tournament Players” is Dr. Cohn’s program to help tennis players, coaches, and instructors improve the mental game of tennis is just 8 easy to learn sessions. Tennis Confidence: Mental Game Strategies for Tournament Players Audio and Workbook program is ideal for any junior, collegiate, and tour professional player. Tennis coaches and instructors would also be wise to teach the strategies in “Tennis Confidence 2.0.”

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