You may think that is a strange title, but it will all make sense in a
moment. When you are in a match you will always experience cycles
from good to bad, bad to good, back to bad again. This is the nature
of sports and it's your responsibility to be mentally prepared for
these cycles. Once you learn to adapt effectively to these cycles,
life on the tennis court can become beautiful.
Often players play well for 15 minutes, then all of a sudden they begin
playing poorly (and you thought it only happened to you!). Maybe they
are just a little tired or maybe their opponent is playing spectacular
tennis. Whatever the reason, they are definitely in a down cycle
fighting to stay in the match.
When this scenario happens to you, here is a mental tip that the top
pros have mastered. YOU MUST LEARN TO PLAY BADLY WELL WHEN YOU'RE IN
A DOWN CYCLE!
For example, on a scale of one to ten (ten being the up cycle and one
being the down cycle) you're playing poorly at level four. When you
are in a bad cycle the trick is to understand that this is normal and
part of the winning process. You must fight to stay at that level
until momentum begins shifting back in your direction. In other words
you learn to play poorly better than most. How? By mental toughness!
What happens to most players in their down cycles is they lose their
mental fight, become frustrated, develop a negative mindset, and
plummet into the three, two, or one level. Instead of fluctuating
between ten and four in their match play they are now fluctuating
between ten and one!
Now you tell me, if everything is equal and one player is fluctuating
between ten and one and the other is fluctuating between ten and
four... who will win?
Everyone fluctuates in match play, but it should be obvious that your
mentally tough competitors MINIMIZE their down time by MAXIMIZING their
mental skills during these pressure situations. The top pros are well
aware that part of winning is an inner desire to own that extra
intangible inch that catapults their game onto victory.
The only question that remains is... when you are confronted with this
predicament will you posses the mental skills necessary to play badly
better than most? Since reading this tip, you should!