Focusing on The Process in Tennis
“It’s about the process… Trust the process!”
How many times have you heard that phrase spoken by a member of a professional sports team organization?
When a tennis player talks about “the process,” they are talking about committing to their plan for continuous daily improvement. These tennis players know that the process is what leads to greater long-term success.
Unfortunately, not all tennis players focus on the process.
Many players focus solely on outcomes, wins and losses or rankings.
When you solely focus on outcomes, your confidence and emotional state are at the mercy of your win-loss record.
When you win, you are on top of the world… You believe in yourself and feel you have the talent to accomplish your goals.
Conversely, when you lose, you are devastated… You feel you are not good enough and believe that your goals are unattainable.
While you can control the process, you have only so much control over outcomes and because outcomes are uncertain, tennis players who are overly focused on outcomes tend to be highly anxious and have difficulty focusing during their matches.
Of course you want to win and accomplish your goals. The most effective way for achieving great success is to achieve little successes along the way.
By winning the little battles of today, you drastically increase your chances of achieving the big successes of tomorrow.
Twenty year-old Alexander Zverev is all about focusing on the process. Zverev has big dreams and goals for his career but he keeps his eyes focused on what is going on in the moment and taking the little steps necessary to achieve his goals.
After winning the Citi Open for his fourth title of the year, Zverev has set his sights on winning a Grand Slam title. So far in his young career, Zverev has yet to play past the fourth round in a Grand Slam event yet he remains focused on the process.
ZVEREV: “I improved a lot in the last few months to get where I can win tournaments… Winning [Grand Slam] types of matches is the next level I need to reach. To get far in those events is my next goal.”
The lesson to learn is that if you want to make big strides towards your goals, focus on the little steps of today.
How to Immerse Yourself in the Process:
Identify your long-term or seasonal goals. At the end of the season, what do you want to accomplish?
Create an action plan to go after your goals.
What specific steps do you need to take in order to accomplish your goal? What do you need to improve?
What mental and physical skills are necessary for you to accomplish your goal?
Set small objectives for each day. What can you do in practice or in today’s match that nudges you forward along the path to your ultimate goal?
This is the process of goal getting. This is what you need to focus on each and every day.
Remember, you can’t leap frog past the intermediate steps to achieve long-term success. Success requires hundreds of steps, that when strung together, bring you closer to your ultimate goal.
Related Tennis Psychology Articles:
- How to Become Process Focused
- Are You A Goal-Oriented Or A Process-Oriented Tennis Player?
- How to Set Motivating Tennis Goals
- Download our a FREE Tennis Psychology Report
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