Improving On-Court Play Using Your Emotions
Are emotions good or bad when playing in a tight tennis match?
Many tennis players feel they need to play emotionless in order to play at a high level.
Playing without emotion is impossible. Every player, and person on the planet for that matter, experiences an emotion every second of the day.
There are other players who believe they need to suppress intense emotions to keep themselves from having negative reactions or outbursts during a match.
Suppressing emotions is also impossible and is not be beneficial to performance either.
Intense emotions will find their way to the surface somehow and, if you suppress those intense emotions, they will burst to the surface like a powder keg.
The key is to know which emotions help you and how to utilize them to your advantage. Some players can benefit from a little bit of anger while others spiral out of control.
You just double faulted to lose your serve.
All you want to do is smash your racquet and go into a tirade on the court.
If you hold those emotions in, you replay that double-fault over and over in your mind and lose focus.
You will become so tense and anxious that you feel slow and unable to react quickly.
On the other hand, if you recognize your anger for what it is, just an emotion, neither good nor bad, you can turn things around to your advantage.
You can express that anger, by blurting out, “Come on,” then get motivated to stay aggressive and focus on your return game.
Jelena Ostapenko describes herself as an emotional player…
Ostapenko won the French Open last year and is looking to add to her Grand Slam total with hopes of eventually capturing the No. 1 ranking.
Ostapenko uses her emotions to her advantage to fuel her aggressive style of play.
OSTAPENKO: “Since I first started playing tennis, I never held back. I’ve always taken the chance to hit hard. Also, I’ve always been quite emotional. On the court, all the emotions come together and result in powerful play. That’s my strategy: to be fearless, aggressive, and to win points by relying on my own strength.”
While emotions can greatly lift your level of play, those same emotions can backfire if not kept in check.
Emotions are a double-edged sword. If you don’t control emotions, those emotions will control you and cause you to implode on the court.
Learn to use your emotions to your advantage and you will have a huge edge on the court.
A Tip for Using Your Emotions to Fuel Your Play on The Court:
Not all emotions are bad for your tennis game. However, anger and frustration will usually hurt you game.
Review some of your past matches and uncover when you benefited from intense positive emotions.
What were those emotions and how did you harness those emotions?
Try to use that experience as a template for how you will respond in future similar matches.
You want to be ready to respond to any challenge during a match and control your emotions instead of your emotions control you.
Learn about letting go of mistakes with Tennis Confidence program:
Learn Proven 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.”
- “My confidence seems to disappear when I go from practice to matches and I don’t know why.”
- “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.”
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What are mental game customers saying?
“I want to let you know that your “Tennis Confidence” CD program has been extremely helpful to me. I listen to the CDs in the car and the program is helping me overcome a lifetime of tournament performance Anxiety. Thank you!”
~Wing Yu, Tennis Player
“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!”
~Katherine Johnson Cannata, Maggie’s mother
“She 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 in her behavior in less than 24 hours were AWESOME! Thank you for your guidance!”
~Jennifer, Tennis Parent
“Dr. Cohn did a great job working with my son Joe on his mental skills for tennis. He taught him the mental skills and discipline necessary to move to the next level. Thanks Doc!”
~Mike Withers, Joe Withers Father
Boost Your Self-Confidence in Tennis With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach, Dr. Patrick Cohn, can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal mental game coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone.
Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 (local: 407-909-1700) or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our mental coaching students saying?
“Dr. Cohn, one of my goals is to become a world-class-coach. There are a few coaches from the US who inspired me the most–John Wooden, Don Shula, and Pat Riley. After working with you, I now also list your name among the most influential coaches in my field!”
“Since you last worked with AJ in early September, his National ranking has improved from 349 to 148. His tournament record at one point, since talking with you was 17-4, with 3 of the 4 being in third sets or tiebreakers and 2 of those matches being the same player, whom he has since beaten (you may recall he was on an 0-9 losing streak when we contacted you). His tie-breaker record is at least 90% through last weekend when he won the 18s District tournament with a semi and final match tiebreak win. Your help has definitely improved AJ’s results and his on-court demeanor has substantially improved.”
~Dawn Woodman, A.J.’s Mother
“On behalf of all of our coaches who attended the 2004 ITA Coaches Convention, I would like to thank you for serving as a featured clinician. I know that the coaches felt it was both enjoyable and informative. We greatly appreciate your taking the time to prepare and present such an outstanding clinic for the benefit of our coaches.”
~Nancy Breo, ITA Convention
“Thank you for all the knowledge, tools, material, and guidance you have given me throughout the MGCP course. It was truly a great experience. I am looking forward to integrating your mental training system to students at the club, as well as to athletes that truly are committed, and strive towards reaching their peak performance.”
~Tim Whitehead, Tennis Coach