Serena Williams’ Secret to Mental Toughness

The power of your mind game in tennis cannot be overlooked. The top tennis players in the world use their mental strength to help them succeed.

Are your tennis thoughts powerful? Serena Williams used power thoughts during her round of 16 match against Daniela Hantuchova at the 2007 Wimbledon. In the second set, Williams and Hantuchova were tied up at 5-5, when Williams fell from a cramped calf.

She was determine to win at all costs:

“I decided I was going to die trying. I just had to go back on court, no matter what. It would have been weird if I hadn’t tried.”
~Serena Williams

Her determination and mental toughness in tennis helped her overcome injury. Mind over matter. Top players are able to focus and scrap through injury and find a way to perform well. Serena Williams did not allow injury to be an excuse for losing the match. She knew she had to stay positive and on performance cues to execute.

Williams used power thoughts as a reminder to stay strong. Before the tournament, she wrote several positive statements to help boost her mental game of tennis. She used her power tennis thoughts by reviewing them on the changeovers, which helped her focus and get her game back on track:

  • “My good thoughts are powerful”
  • “My only negative thoughts are weak!”
  • “Decide what you want to be, have, do and think the thoughts of it.”
  • “Hang on to the thought of what you want. Make it absolutely clear.”
  • “Positive thoughts”
  • “You will look at balls”
  • “You will move up”
  • “You are #1 (No1)”
  • “You are the best”
  • “You will add spin”
  • “You will win WIMBLEDON”

Serena Williams prevailed with a 6-2, 6-7, 6-2 win over Hantuchova to meet Henin in the quarters. Serena’s positive tennis mindset boosted her confidence and helped to focus her on what’s really important to winning. Mind over tennis lead to her success.

The moral of the story: make a list of positive tennis thoughts to help you win matches. Continue to think positively when faced with adversity. When your back is against the wall in a match, remind yourself of your power thoughts. This is more than just positive thinking. What you think about – you get in tennis.