How to have a Strong Mental Game
What do you rely on most when you are in a tough match? Is it putting pace on your first serve or placement on your second serve? Is it your capacity to chase down balls to keep rallies alive? Is it a powerful forehand or backhand? Is it your conditioning?
Being physically strong and technically sound are of tremendous benefit during tough matches. But when you are tired or off your game a bit under stressful conditions, focusing on your physical may seem impossible.
That is the reason your mental game is invaluable during tough matches.
Having a strong mental game, also referred to as “mental toughness,” helps you maintain confidence when your first serve is off.
Having a strong mental game helps you stay focused when you are tired with the hot sun beating down upon you.
Relying on your mental game helps you refocus after an unforced error or losing a string of points.
Using your mind allows you to keep your head in the game so you can take advantage of your strengths such as power, quickness, conditioning and technical skills.
In fact, without a strong mental game, it is impossible to rely on your physical game when you are facing pressure in tough matches.
Relying on a strong mental game is how Stefanos Tsitsipas was able to beat Rafael Nadal at the 2019 Madrid Open.
Ninth-ranked Tsitsipas was up against Nadal, who has the nickname “King of Clay”, in the semifinals. In their previous meetings, Tsitsipas lost all three matches to Nadal without even winning one set.
Tsitsipas was mentally strong throughout the match breaking Nadal’s serve six times and winning 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.
TSITSIPAS: “I’m really happy that I managed to keep my nerves down and fight back. Probably one of the toughest victories I’ve had in my life… I really liked my fighting spirit. I went on the court and I was mentally prepared for a fight.”
Tsitsipas understands that physical strength is not the key to victory in tough matches. If you are not mentally prepared and mentally tough, it won’t matter how skilled you are, how strong you are or how well-conditioned you are.
If you are just falling short in tough matches, it’s a sign that you need to improve your mental game. If you work to develop a strong mental game, you will be able to rely on those skills when needed in tough matches.
Having a strong mental game requires trust in your skills and trust is developed through practice.
Think of it in terms of developing trust in your serve. You spend hours upon hours honing your swing, working with your coach to improve your technique and strengthening your body to generate more power. Eventually, you feel confident and comfortable enough to take advantage of that serve in matches.
Your mental game also requires practice, repetition and commitment in order to develop a level of trust that allows you to benefit from those skills in competition.
Develop Trust in Your Skills
Practice and repetition leads to muscle memory (motor memory). When you trust in your strokes, you rely on what you trained already.
Trust is playing freely and relying on your motor memory; letting go of controlling your strokes.
You must practice to improve your trust in training. Work on trusting your strokes in practice sets, points, and tie breakers in your training.
Visualization helps you trust in your strokes. Rehearse yourself playing freely, aggressively, and letting it happen during tight matches.
Learn Proven Tennis Mental Game Strategies To Perform Your Best On The Court!
Are you (or your players) performing up to your ability in competition?
Do you bring your best and most confident game to matches?
I often hear players complain about the following problems when they play in matches…
“I get so tight or tense before matches that I can’t think straight or have any rhythm in my game.”
“I get so frustrated with hitting bad shots or with errors and it snowballs.”
“I expect so much when I play that I unravel and lose confidence when the match does not go as planned.”
“My confidence seems to disappear when I go from practice to matches and I don’t know why.”
Successful tennis players have learned how to perform with ultimate confidence in tournaments.
If you are ready to improve your mental toughness and perform with ultimate self-confidence in matches, Tennis Confidence: Mental Toughness For Tournament Players can help you do this!
- Players: Learn how to take control of your confidence, focus your best, and win more close matches.
- Parents: Help boost your junior tennis player’s confidence for tournaments. Just load the program on your player’s IPod!
- Coaches: Boost your team’s confidence using simple, proven mental strategies.
- Instructors: Learn how to give your students the mental game advantage.
Use Tennis Confidence to help boost your mental toughness in tennis and discover powerful and proven mental game strategies that have helped professional athletes win!
Download Our Free Tennis Psychology Report!
Discover if you are making one or more of these “costly” unforced mental game errors during matches!
Download our free Tennis Psychology Report:
- How your mind can be your best or worst asset on the court.
- If you are using your mind effectively between points.
- One strategy that can help you let of go the last point.
- The top mental game skills you need to master to boost your confidence and performance between points.
Click here to download your FREE report today: Six Unforced ‘Mental Game’ Errors Tennis Players Make Between Points