We all want to win! In practice you will do whatever it takes to win, even if it's incorrect. If you lose while attempting a new strategy or technique, you have trouble coping with the defeat. As a result all your decisions are based solely on whether or not you win.
The Benefits of Having Mental Toughness
Improving is secondary. Being consumed by winning can wreak havoc in a drill, a practice match, or even when you are practicing alone on a ball machine. You become your own worst opponent! I have had drills where one or two players could not do the drill because it meant they might lose. I'm serious! They simply could NOT put themselves at risk of failure, even in a practice drill. The crazy thing is that the drill was for their own benefit.
Talk about sabotaging yourself!
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One day you will be in an important match and you will need a technique or strategy that you refused to learn. Then what? I know Yes, you want to win, but being obsessed with winning to the point that it hinders your future improvement is foolish.
It is time to make some changes. This habit can go on forever! You have the weather, the net, the court, the balls, the racket, the people watching, your shoes, your opponents, a bad line call, your grip, your opponent's attitude, your partner's attitude, your partner, your strings, on and on! Of course blaming all of these things gets you absolutely nowhere. Ultimately it distracts you from focusing on the task at hand -- beating your opponents.
Now, I'm not saying that some of these things to blame are not legitimate. Often you may be right, but who cares! This is what you have to work with on that day and that's that!
Mental Toughness Sets Warriors Apart in Game 2 of NBA Finals
As the great golf pro Bobby Jones once said, "You play the ball from where it lies. For some reason tennis players think they are supposed to play the way they think they should play. If it does not go the way they intended What happens, happens! Adjust and keep moving! Changing what already happened is NOT an option Done with! The end! You are letting the ball come to you instead of mentally staying prepared to advance to the ball. You are tentative and cautious, letting the game stay one step ahead of you. Things just seem to happen!
This is tricky. You and you alone will know your state of mind while playing. But since it wasn't a tournament round, you didn't let it bother you. You just went over and found the ball, pitched out, wedged up to the green, saved your par and went on. But in the Southwest Conference Tournament, you might hit the same shot and overreact to it. You start telling yourself, "You're such a jerk," and "Why does this always happen in a big tournament?
Tennis Server - Tennis Warrior - From Practice Tennis to Pressure Tennis
He has accepted the fact that, as he puts it, 'Golf is not a game of perfect. The thinking of elite players is what separates them from amateurs during tournament play. Elite players regard their failures in pressure situations the same way they regard failures in practice: with a relaxed mental attitude. This is so simple, yet the principle eludes most players. Playing in pressure matches the way you play in practice does not involve some complicated plan known only to a few. Granted, only a few players actually know and utilize this valuable thinking, but it is not complicated!
You can do it. You just have to make the same decisions that you make in practice matches. What are those decisions? Forget your mistakes and concentrate on the next shot, as Tom Kite and his coach explained so clearly. That is the difference. In effect, Tom Kite has found "the next shot is more important than the last mistake" to be the answer that separates him from the amateurs. Don't you think it is time for you to cement this concept into your thinking and bring it with you to your next match?
Do not leave these thoughts in this article. Pack them up and take them with you for the next time you play.
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I promise the concept will not take up much room in your mind: "The next shot is more important than the last mistake. You will receive notification each month of changes at the Tennis Server and news of new columns posted on our site.
Tom has taught thousands of players to think like a pro with his Tennis Warrior System. Tom takes you Step-by-step from basic mental toughness to advanced mental toughness. All skill levels can learn from this unique book from beginner to professional. No need to change your strokes just your thinking. All original material and graphics on the Tennis Server are copyrighted - by Tennis Server and its sponsors and contributors. Please do not reproduce without permission. Email Address. Tennis Server Match Reports. Editor's Letter.