Tennis Drills - How to practice mental training on court
They have other benefits too which you'll discover when you start practicing them, but their main point is learning to play at your best despite pressure.
A tennis player is most efficient and capable of good results when he is in the zone state. That's when his mind is empty. If a player is thinking about anything during ball exchange, he disturbs his concentration and consequently makes errors.
Especially damaging are thoughts about negative outcome just before the point. The most common is thinking about double faulting just before the serve. You can almost predict that a double fault will follow.
One of the main purposes of these drills is to show the player how to find this zone state and how much better he performs in that state. And that is actually the only thing besides effort that a player can control.
Many of these tennis drills will put the player under pressure and then he will have to perform a task under these circumstances. Sometimes a player competes against himself and sometimes against a partner.
In any case, if a player wants to be successful in a real match, then he needs to practice his skills with various tennis drills and develop mental toughness through time. A player cannot become mentally tough by reading books or by just going to a sports psychologist.
He needs to experience success in real situation to really become good with his mental abilities. The first step can be information in various forms – books, websites, workshops and so on. The next steps are tennis drills that are designed to improve mental toughness.
Then a player needs to play practice matches where he is playing a match but at the same time also practicing his mental skills. The final stage are real tennis matches where at first a player is not that good with his mental skills, but through repetition and success they become automatic.
Some of the drills are of the more general nature – like serving drills, which apply to all serving situations. Then other drills are more situation specific oriented – like playing for points, but practicing perseverance and playing under pressure.
Some drills are very match score specific - like playing games where the server starts at 30:40.
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