Hewitt: Tennis Confidence and Momentum

Tennis Psychology

Powerful Mental Game Assets

Tennis confidence and momentum is super important to your game and the most powerful mental game of tennis asset.

Momentum can help you find your rhythm and win a series of games or points in a row- with superior confidence. When you have momentum, you may feel like nothing can stop you from hitting solid shots and winning points.

But, momentum can also change quickly. You can lose momentum quickly if you allow it to happen. For example, many players struggle with confidence and thus momentum after mistakes such as a double fault, dropping a few points or making an unforced error. When you lose momentum, you look for bad breaks and then it’s difficult to get it back.

The weather can also affect your momentum. If you have a hard time finding your rhythm in windy conditions, you might lose confidence and momentum. Likewise, some players have trouble serving with the sun in their eyes. When players lose momentum and thus confidence, they may become frustrated, try too hard or think negatively about their performance.

Lleyton Hewitt realizes the importance of keeping momentum

“Momentum changes so much and I think on days like today, when it’s so hot out there on court, you know once you start getting down on yourself, you can just snowball. When you’re positive out there, it’s a lot easier to play good tennis and win lots of games in a row.”
~Lleyton Hewitt

What’s the fastest way to destroy momentum?

When you beat yourself up with negative self-talk, this can lead to more mistakes, tentative play and result in lower confidence. The key to tennis confidence is to remain positive even when you might not be performing up to your expectations. Keep your confidence and momentum should be a priority for your mental game.

What should you do when you’re losing valuable momentum?

Lleyton Hewitt has experience with losing momentum. He provided his perspective on momentum:

“I felt it was a matter of trying to regroup, put my head down, work hard and not to give too many points away in the second set. I wanted to put more pressure on him [Paul Goldstein] early in the second set, and I was able to do that. The momentum really swung in my favor and I was able to continue to do that in the third set as well.”
~Lleyton Hewitt

I like the idea of regrouping when you feel that your momentum is slipping. Some tennis players may try harder or put more pressure on themselves when momentum shifts – almost like they panic when the match turns.

You certainly don’t want to panic and lose confidence because you hit a couple marginal shots. Stick to your game plan and don’t go for too much all at once. Keep the mindset that Momentum can change quickly in your favor after a run of good shots, so remain confident and have faith that momentum is in your favor!

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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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2 thoughts on “Hewitt: Tennis Confidence and Momentum”

  1. Hi,
    Yesterday I had my bad match ever, I think what happened has to do with momentum…. It was a double and I didn’t know my partner. It was in a gymnasium so the surface was incredibly fast. Before I even realized what happened we lost 6-2, 6-0. I think because the surface was so fast I tried to hard to keep watching the ball and then wasn’t moving my feet anymoe, not even turning my shoulders. I was like paralyzed. How can I overcome this problem: I become so tense suddenly that I just can’t play
    Thanks for any help…

  2. You have to continue to react and not over-think in this scenario. The tendency is to start to think too much how to get to the ball, which slows down your reaction.

    Patrick Cohn

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