How to Reach Your Goals in Tennis

Goal GETTING Strategies for Tennis Players

Has a coach ever told you, “Keep your eyes on the prize”? The “prize” is your goal or an objective you want to achieve.

This phrase is designed to motivate you and keep you focused on the goal or objective you are working towards.

“Keep your eyes on the prize” is a reminder to push through adversity or tough circumstances such as losses, nagging injuries, repetitive technique refinement, hard training sessions, long seasons, etc.

If you take your focus off the prize, you will quickly become overwhelmed by your circumstances and lose sight of the reason for your hard work and efforts. With no “why” in sight, your motivation dissipates, and you become derailed by your circumstances.

Accomplishing your goals requires that you be focused on your goal and the path towards your goal instead of the adverse circumstances you may face.

With that said, maintaining your focus towards your goals is not always easy. For example, what if the “prize” or your objective is far in the distant future or the timetable for a return to action is uncertain?

This situation is facing all professional tennis players following the disruption of the season and uncertainty of the resumption of the Tour season due to the coronavirus.

Prior to winning the 2020 Credit One Bank Invitational, Madison Keys talked about the difficulty of not knowing when the WTA season would resume.

KEYS: “It’s really difficult to keep practicing when you don’t really have a goal in mind. So being able to have some of these tournaments back on the calendar has been really great even just for my mentality, just because I know I’m working for something…”

“Even in the off-season, even when we’re injured, we usually have a date. We have a deadline when we’ve got to be ready for, and we can time it up. So I think it’s been challenging for everyone to stay motivated.”

You will always experience times of “waiting.” Waiting for the high school or college season to start…

Waiting for a tournament or invitational… Waiting to return to competition after an injury. Waiting for a long period of time can drain your motivation, so it is important to set small goals too.

These small goals can be maintaining motivation for an entire practice session, spending ten minutes a night visualizing matches, managing your emotions during a tennis match, etc.

Small successes built over time help you accomplish the bigger, long-term objective.

Setting Constructive Smaller Goals

To create effective smaller goals, it is important to start with your long-term objective and work backwards.

Ask yourself the following questions:

“What is my long-term goal?” or “What do I want to achieve this season?”

Next, it’s important to have a plan for the season and the action plan to help you achieve your goal. “What steps do I need to take to accomplish my goal?”

Then break down these steps into smaller goals, “What do I need to accomplish this week, this day, this practice or this drill to move me closer to my long-term goal?”

Goal setting is the easy part. Goal getting is more difficult. Achievement is the result of small successes accomplished each day.

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Improve Your Mental Game for Tennis

Tennis Confidence 2.0

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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.”

Tennis Confidence is a complete mental training program developed Dr. Cohn. You learn the same strategies Dr. Cohn teaches his personal students to help them improve mental toughness and consistency – from managing unrealistic expectations to coping with perfectionism. 

Read more about Tennis Confidence Program>>

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