How to Regain Your Tennis Confidence
Have you lost confidence in a certain stroke or part of your tennis game?
Imagine playing a match where you have no confidence in your first serve… Every time you step to the base line, you become nervous…
You are so afraid to fault that you just try to get the serve in…
Your opponent excitedly awaits to rip the return down the line for a winner… And because you were not aggressive with your serve, you end up losing your serve.
Your belief in your ability to perform a skill is called self-confidence.
Let’s stay with the serve example… if you believe you have a great first serve (powerful, good spin, well-placed) and believe you can hit that serve in any situation, then you have a high level of self-confidence in your service game.
Basically, you believe in your ability to serve despite the circumstances (high self-efficacy).
Self-confidence influences the goals you set, the actions you take towards your goals and whether or not you succeed in accomplishing your goals.
Researchers Deborah L. Feltz and Cathy D. Lirgg set out to investigate the effects of self-efficacy in their study, “Self-efficacy Beliefs of Athletes, Teams, and Coaches.”
They found that outcome goals (focusing on winning and losing) often result in low self-efficacy while performance goals (focusing on the process and personal excellence) enhance self-efficacy.
The main culprits that lower self-efficacy are focusing on outcomes, comparing yourself to others and trying to be perfect.
- Trying to control something that is uncontrollable causes you to lose belief in what you CAN do. You have no direct control over winning or losing tennis matches. If you played the No. 1 tennis player in the world, you may play well but chances are you will not win.
- Comparing yourself to others also crushes your belief in your abilities because you look at others as better.
- Being perfect is an impossible task that causes you to focus on your shortcomings rather than your strengths.
Self-comparison and focusing on your game keeps you feeling in control and enhances self-belief.
Belief, at times, may seem difficult to change but there are strategies that you can use to enhance your self-belief.
Try these tips to enhance your belief:
- Tip #1: Practice with the focus towards improvement. Avoid just going through the motions in practice. Practice with focused intensity and a mission.
- Remember, everything can be improved with focus and effort. The more you develop your skills, the more confident you will be in your game.
- Tip #2: Use process goals. Focus on the small things that help you execute good strokes, such as trusting your stroke.
- Winning and losing on the way will give you feedback as to your progress. Stay focused on the process and what you need to do to improve your game.
Just like you improve your physical game, you can work to improve your mental game.
Keep reminding yourself that anything worthwhile takes work and no one ever wished themselves to success.
Successful tennis players have learned how to perform with ultimate confidence in tournaments. We’ve developed Tennis Confidence: Mental Toughness For Tournament Players to help you do this.
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If you’re not performing up to your potential in matches, most likely your mental game is holding you back. Are you so frustrated with your performance you feel like giving up? Does your confidence evaporate when you play in tournaments? Are you tired of working hard in practice and not getting any results in matches?
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