When I play tennis, the passion takes over, I stop thinking, and I miss what I would not miss if I were calm. But how can you be calm and focused when you make three unforced errors in a row, when your ball touches the net and falls in your side of the court, when your opponent seems Superman ... and so on? The truth is that you can. In the same way we train our body to properly perform the swings, we can train the mind to manage emotions, to tell and see the right things, to give us an advantage over our opponent.
Our mind tells us things, predicts the future and reminds the past. All of this is against us so that, in addition to the opponent on the other side of the court, we have to handle our thoughts too.
It happens to all tennis players, because tennis is a very mental sport, where you have so much time to think and, usually, think about the wrong things.
It happens to all tennis ...view middle of the document...
By saying one sentence, we have then compromised the whole game because our brain will try anything to make us lose. Imagine what happens when we continue to communicate to our mind negative thoughts!
The concept that our mind does not distinguish between what is real and what we imagine is really important. Studies have shown that the channels to process the information are unique: this allows us to enjoy when we watch a movie because we identify ourselves in that particular situation, experiencing the emotions the actors are trying to convey. The same thing happens with dreams, when we wake up and we think that it really happened.
In order for the illusion of the mind to be successful, a catalyst is necessary: the emotion. When we watch a movie, our emotions depend on the skills of the actors, the interest of the plot, special effects, the images and sounds. When we dream, it is easier because we are unconscious, and then the mind can be easily deceived.
So, there are three areas that can be trained to effectively control our mind while we play tennis:
1. Level of excitement.
This area is critical because only by controlling this factor we can use the teachings of Mental Tennis. If you think you cannot handle your thoughts is because you are not controlling your level of excitement.
Being focused is what makes our game effective. Only by managing the concentration at high levels we can develop an effective game. If we do not manage our concentration, we are playing at 5% of our ability.
This area handles problems. It is easy to play well when everything is ok; the challenge is playing ok when everything goes wrong.
The Mental Tennis is based on the three areas listed above. Once we understand how the mind works and how we can handle our thoughts, everything changes and we will be able to solve problems and handle the pressure.