Helping Young Tennis Players Stay Composed
Do you have a young tennis player that tends to implode after a couple of double faults on the tennis court?
In this week’s tennis psychology podcast, mental game of tennis expert, Dr. Patrick Cohn answers a questions from a tennis parent.
Ramona wrote in and said:
“My son is 11 years old. He’s been playing tennis since he was 5. He’s a top player in India in the 12 and unders. At times he has a couple of double faults in a row. The body language gets really bad and he’s in tears after a couple of double faults. However, when is first serve is spot on, the rest of the game will pick up. I’m assuming that the state of mind determines whether you’ll have a good serve or not.”
COHN: Yes your state of mind is going to affect your entire tennis game, whether it is your serve or ground strokes or your return or volleys, the mindset that you take to the court is going to be extremely important.
COHN: The challenge you’re having with your son is he expects not to double fault and maybe he gets a little irritated with 1 double fault but if he has 2 in a row he starts to get frustrated so that tells me there’s a strict expectation about not double faulting in his case and then when he does double fault, he loses emotional control and that probably snowballs and goes down hill.
CONH: What can you do about when he double faults?
Listen to the audio below to hear what Dr. Cohn tells sports parents to do when they have young tennis players who lose composure after double faulting:
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I often hear players complain about the following problems when they play in matches…
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“I expect so much when I play that I unravel and lose confidence when the match does not go as planned.”
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“Danielle did really well with controlling her emotions during the matches today. We were very proud of her for not showing her frustrations during the match; I think that was a big accomplishment. She really looked in control of her emotions even when she double faulted or made mistakes. The changes we saw on Danielle’s behavior in less than 24 hours were AWESOME! Thank you for your guidance!”
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