One of the main problems players have when attempting to maintain
the correct mental attitude is the inability to make correct
decisions in the face of failures and mistakes. Intellectually
they know they should forget their mistakes and move on, but when
confronted with the emotional reality of their mistakes, they lose
it! With this quick tip I want to challenge you to separate
yourself from the pack by making two crucial decisions: Recognize,
retreat and move on.
First, in your next match when you begin making mistakes and feel
your emotions looming up, Stop, look and listen - THIS IS AN
EMOTIONAL MOMENT! The ability to RECOGNIZE this emotionally
charged moment by monitoring yourself mentally as well as
emotionally is a key to success in the competitive arena. Don't
justify your angry, frustrated feelings, just RECOGNIZE you are
going AWOL (absent without leave) from objectivity. To be aware
of what is occurring is the first step toward solving the emotion
Second, you must RETREAT AND MOVE ON from THAT EMOTIONAL MOMENT.
But how? You must learn to let go of your mistakes and MOVE ON
by overriding your emotions with your mind. You must mentally
act! An excellent technique to help you through this moment would
be some internal calculation. Repeating the phrase, "the next
shot is more important than the last mistake!" can reorient you
back to the correct mental environment. I teach players to not
serve or return serve until they have cleared their mind of the
last mistake. With practice you will learn to bring yourself
through these emotional moments by repeating the phrase, "the
next shot is more important than the last mistake."
The key to advancing toward mental toughness is to make objective,
rational decisions when you are ACTUALLY CONFRONTED WITH THE
EMOTIONAL SITUATION. Despite your emotional quagmire you must
instantly RECOGNIZE your predicament and override your feelings
with a quick reaction mental solution. "The next shot is more
important than the last mistake!"
The Tennis Warrior understands it's not just about KNOWING THE
PATH, but WALKING THE PATH.
I have so enjoyed spending these few emotional moments with you. :)