How Top Tennis Players Use Goals to Improve Play

SMART Tennis Goals

What Are Your Goals in Tennis?

What is your goal?

What do you want to accomplish?

What place to do want to arrive at by the end of the season?

These are questions that every tennis player should mull around in their minds.

The reality is that tennis players find themselves at different points along the goal setting continuum.

Some players don’t set goals… These players may be afraid to fail or fall short of accomplishing their goals in the past. Either way, these players make an assumption that goal setting doesn’t work.

Some players have merely hopes… These tennis players dream of what they want to do in the sport and hope that, somehow, they magically get there.

Some players have a goals, though not specific…

These players say things such as, “I want a better serve,” or, “I want to win a tournament,” but these players fail to define the ‘what,’ ‘when,’ ‘how’ and ‘why.’

Some players have a goal and no plan… These players know exactly what they want and by when but they have no plan highlighting what is needed to achieve their objective.

Some tennis players have a well-defined goal with a specific action plan

These players set a very specific goal with a target date. These players also create an action plan detailing the necessary steps required to accomplish their goal.

The fact is the tennis players who achieve big things are ardent goal setters who have a reason for setting their goal and understand the process of goal setting.

When you apply effective goal setting strategies, you understand what it takes to hit the mark.

Effective goal setting strategies:

  • Give you purpose and direction. Goals give you something to shoot for and give meaning to all the effort and time you dedicate towards training.
  • Provide a sense of control. Knowing where you want to go and how to get there gives you a sense of confidence as to where you are going.
  • Enhance motivation. When times get tough, having a goal gives you that little boost to keep pushing towards something of personal value.
  • Foster a sense of pride. As you move closer to your goal, those small accomplishments give you a sense of satisfaction and further increase motivation and confidence.

Goal setting will help you achieve more in tennis… just like it has for Caroline Garcia.

Garcia has utilized goal setting to help her steadily improve her performance and achieve more in tennis.

After winning her first premier mandatory title, Garcia started focusing on her plan to achieve her next goal.

GARCIA: “After the accomplishment, do you have any plan for what’s next? What is your primary task now, goal? ‘It’s not because you win a premier mandatory that your career is over.'”

Garcia understands that attaining a goal leads to accomplishing even greater things in the future.

GARCIA: “I still have so many goals to achieve. Of course, to be a part of the top 10, it’s a step in the career. Of course, it gives me confidence and it gives me also motivation to work even harder to get some bigger trophy.”

What is your goal?

What will give you the motivation and confidence necessary to succeed in tennis?

Tip for Creating a S.M.A.R.T. Tennis Goal:

When creating a goal, follow the SMART method:

  • Specific – Your goal should be as detailed as possible
  • Measurable – Your goal should be quantifiable
  • Attainable – Your goal should realistic
  • Relevant – Your goal should have personal meaning
  • Time-bound – Your goal should have a concrete deadline

*Subscribe to The Tennis Psychology Podcast on iTunes
*Subscribe to The Tennis Psychology Podcast on Spotify

Improve Your Mental Game for Tennis

Tennis Confidence 2.0

Tennis Confidence CD

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>>

Leave a Comment