nodot nodot
Mental Equipment
March 1996 Article

Contact John Murray

Mental Equipment Archive

Get John F. Murray's book The Mental Performance Index at Amazon.com

Get John F. Murray's book Smart Tennis at Amazon.com

Tennis Server

Do You Want To Be A Better Tennis Player?

Then Sign Up For A Free Subscription to the Tennis Server INTERACTIVE
E-mail Newsletter!

Tom Veneziano You will join 13,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano.
Best of all, it is free!

Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
WILD CARDS - Each month a guest column by a new writer.
BETWEEN THE LINES - Ray Bowers takes an analytical and sometimes controversial look at the ATP/WTA professional tour.
PRO TENNIS SHOWCASE - Tennis match reports and photography from around the world.
TENNIS SET - Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D. looks at tennis science, engineering and technology.
MORTAL TENNIS - Greg Moran's tennis archive on how regular humans can play better tennis.
MENTAL EQUIPMENT - Explore the mental side of the game with Dr. John Murray.
HARDSCRABBLE SCRAMBLE - USPTA pro Mike Whittington's player tip archive.

Tennis Community Icon TENNIS COMMUNITY:

Tennis Book, DVD, and Video Index
Tennis Server Match Reports
Editor's Letter
Become a Tennis Server Sponsor

Explore The Tennis Net Icon EXPLORE THE TENNIS NET:

Tennis News and Live Tennis Scores
Tennis Links on the Web
Mental Equipment By Dr. John Murray


Green Dot
Tennis Warehouse Logo
Green Dot

Mental Fitness for Junior Tennis Players: A Trip Report

Dr. John Murray Photo
Dr. John Murray

B>At what age should junior tennis players be introduced to the principles of Sport Psychology? The answer certainly varies by individual, as maturity level and intrinsic motivation play huge roles. Having just returned from a mental training seminar I conducted at the ATP Tour International Headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, I am more than ever convinced that it's never too early to begin providing Mental Equipment.

I was invited by Ricardo Acuna, Assistant Tennis Director of the ATP Tour site, to address 50 of Florida's top juniors within the 10-14 age divisions on mental skills training. Upon arriving, I was impressed by the quality of the complex, home of men's professional tennis and the training center for the world's greatest players. It features European red clay, grass and hard courts, state of the art fitness facilities, spa and video equipment, an elegant dining area, and a championship instructional staff headed by ATP Tour Director of Tennis Brian Gottfried.

Murray with Kids Ricardo, a Wimbledon quarterfinalist and Chilean Davis Cup star, is an extremely enthusiastic tennis coach and gracious host. Over lunch, we discussed a variety of topics including psychological skills, training philosophies, and the need for a greater attitude of "teamwork" among juniors.

The weather was brilliant as I prepared to arm these gifted competitors with mental weapons for the 21st century. Shortly after lunch, I was confronted by a massive swarm of mini tennis players in the main grandstand. Ricardo interrogated the horde in an attempt to identify who had coated the locker room door knob with chocolate ice cream. Succumbing to Ricardo's relentless stares and threats of eternal banishment from this tennis Eden, the trickster fell to fear and guilt, confessed, and cleared the path for Mental Equipment.

My talk was interactive, flowing from issues and needs expressed by the group. Although I expected some difficulty maintaining their focus for a full hour, surprisingly little tear gas was necessary! Topics for discussion were easily generated and questions arose on a variety of issues (e.g., performance enhancement, coping with cheating, coping with outside pressures).

The event was not all business, as some of the older juniors decided that imagery, described in my talk as "making movies in your mind," could be used for more devious (and probably interesting!) purposes than preparing for a tennis match. It was also amazing that one bee had the power to simultaneously remove 20 juniors from their seats (so much for mental toughness!). On the whole, their attention level and involvement was impressive, and several juniors came up to me afterwards and commented that they had learned a lot.

At days end, Ricardo gave the group a test to determine whether they recalled the 5 tools of Mental Equipment provided earlier. To my delight, everyone scored 100% in recall and Ricardo called the talk a success.

This was a fun and productive weekend and I look forward to taking Mental Equipment on the road again. Included are some photos of my trip to Ponte Vedra. See you next month ...

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Mental Equipment Archive

If you have not already signed up to receive our free e-mail newsletter Tennis Server INTERACTIVE, you can sign up here. You will receive notification each month of changes at the Tennis Server and news of new columns posted on our site.

This column is copyrighted by Dr. John Murray, all rights reserved.

Dr. John F. Murray is currently a licensed clinical psychologist and sport psychologist in Florida. In addition, he is a tennis professional (having taught tennis internationally in North America, Hawaii, Europe, Middle East), formerly certified with both USPTA and USPTR. He has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and masters degrees both in Clinical Psychology and Exercise & Sport Sciences from the University of Florida. He maintains a personal web site at http://www.johnfmurray.com/.

Questions and comments about these columns can be directed to John by using this form.


Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
Nitto ATP Finals Tickets
Australian Open Tickets
BNP Paribas Open Tickets
Miami Open Tickets
US Men's Clay Court Championships Tickets
Wimbledon Tickets
Rogers Cup Tickets
Western & Southern Open Tickets
Laver Cup Boston Tickets


Popular Tennis books:
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis-Lessons from a Master by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance by Jeff Greenwald
The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
Most Recent Articles:
October 2020 Tennis Anyone: Not Too Old! by John Mills.
Tennis Warrior: What Makes Your Game Fluctuate? by Tom Veneziano.
September 2020 Tennis Anyone: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone by John Mills.
Tennis Warrior: The Other Side of Failure by Tom Veneziano.




"Tennis Server" is a registered trademark and "Tennis Server INTERACTIVE" is a trademark of Tennis Server. All original material and graphics on the Tennis Server are copyrighted 1994 - by Tennis Server and its sponsors and contributors. Please do not reproduce without permission.


Tennis Server
Cliff Kurtzman
791 Price Street #144
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Phone: (281) 480-6300
Online Contact Form
How to support Tennis Server as a Sponsor/Advertiser
Tennis Server Privacy Policy