Maintaining Concentration in Matches
After a tremendous run, Roger Federer finished second in this year’s US Open. Dominating in his first three matches, Federer approached the Men’s Final with high energy and a clear focus on his game.
Despite his loss in the final round, Federer was not defeated….
This is because Federer possesses a strong mental outlook that will allow him to stay motivated and continue strengthening his career. Even his toughest matches, Federer’s concentration and determination consistently remained intact.
Quite often, as competitors, athletes allow themselves to divert attention to personal stresses and anxieties when they should be focusing on our game. This distracts us from the task at hand, wasting energy that could benefit our performance on worrying about unrelated issues.
When you become stressed or anxious during a match, you mental game weakens. When your mind is elsewhere, you cannot become fully invested in the present moment.
Therefore, in order to perform to the best of your ability, it is essential to maintain a strong mental outlook, especially when competing at a high level.
Federer’s continued success lies in his outstanding focus throughout his matches.
“I see the tennis match in isolation… When I arrive to tennis, it’s a different world… I have ‘two lives’ and any problems I might have in life, I drop them once I step onto the match court.”
Because Federer is able to maintain this attitude throughout his play, he is always able to maintain high energy throughout his matches.
As an athlete, he is marked by his unique ability to maintain a calm composure while explosively conquering his opponents. Even in his final setback at the US Open, Federer’s mental fortitude could not be touched.
Throughout his career, Federer has earned seventeen Grand Slam titles, more than any other athlete in the history of tennis.
Given his high level of performance and vivacious playing style, it is clear that Federer’s career is far from complete. Guided by his calm composure, Federer is able bounce back from his toughest matches with an increased desire to succeed.
Federer’s style of play can serve as a great example for athletes trying to improve their mental game during competition.
Here are some tips for maintaining focus and high energy throughout a competition:
- Be able to separate your personal life from your life as an athlete. When you step foot on the court, park everything in your life and focus on the current match.
- If you become distracted, refocus your energy. Instead of wasting energy on worries outside the match, bring that energy to your play.
Are you (or your players) performing up to your ability in competition?
Do you bring your best and most confident game to matches?
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“Maggie had such a great weekend. As always, after she works with you she just seems more grounded and focused. She’s less likely to look around and get distracted during her match. She’s more focused on one point at a time. Also, as a parent, I’ve learned to encourage her process goals and not outcomes. Consequently, she played well and won her first doubles match, upsetting a seeded team in a really really close match!”
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