Quantcast
nodot nodot
Tennis Warrior
May 2016 Article

Tennis Warrior Archive

Send a message to Tom

Get Tom Veneziano's book The Truth about Winning! at Amazon.com

Tennis Server
HOME PAGE

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 18,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano that won't be found on the web site.
 
Best of all, it is free!

Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
 
TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
 
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.
 
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
 
HARDSCRABBLE SCRAMBLE - USPTA pro Mike Whittington's player tip archive.
 
TENNIS EQUIPMENT TIPS.

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
 
nodot
Tennis Warrior Banner

Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior articles are archived onto the Web six months after they are first published in our free email newsletter, Tennis Server INTERACTIVE. You can receive Tom's most recent columns by subscribing to Tennis Server INTERACTIVE using the subscription box in the left side column of this page.

 
Green Dot
 
Tennis Warehouse Logo
 
Green Dot

 
nodot
Using the Conscious Mind in Tennis

Tom Veneziano Photo
Tom Veneziano

All tennis competitors must learn to develop and play in the instinctive, automatic and unconscious mode. The conscious mind, which tends to judge every failure and negative, simply gets in the way of allowing the unconscious and automatic mindset to grow and flourish.
 
In addition, the conscious mind can lag a whole half a second behind the unconscious analysis that is unfolding on the tennis court. Rita Carter in "The Human Brain Book" clearly states the conscious mind's limitations.
 
"The brain registers events via the sense organs almost immediately, but it takes up to half a second to become conscious of them. In order to generate effective responses in a fast-changing environment, the brain must plan and execute moment-by-moment actions unconsciously" (2009, page 118).
 
Players must learn to put aside the conscious mind when training and stop judging and micro-managing every little mechanical move that is made. A player does not think his way through a stroke, he must feel (using the sensory system) his way through it.
 
But is there a place for the conscious mind when learning and playing tennis? Yes, the conscious mind's function is crucial in the development of a player's game. But the conscious mind must recognize its limitations and step aside when unconscious, instinctive play is being developed.
 
The conscious mind is like a General who controls the big picture and macro-manages the troops. The troops are like the unconscious mind carrying out the details while the General steps aside. The problem develops when the General (the conscious mind) decides to control and micro-manage the troops. The General cannot possibly know every little minute detail that is necessary to successfully deploy the troops. He must give the orders then trust the training of the troops to carry out the plan. So it is with a player's tennis game! The conscious mind is the General and must give the body simple commands, like "hit down the line" or "hit cross court," then get out of the way and let the unconscious carry out the task.
 
Here are a few jobs the conscious mind is responsible for when training and developing a tennis game. First, the conscious mind must keep the player motivated to get up and go to practice. The discipline required to stay in the grind, practicing week after week, is delegated to the conscious mind. No unconscious training will take place without this basic but essential mindset.
 
Second, once at the courts the conscious mind must encourage the body to practice, really practice. No loafing allowed! The conscious mind must keep things positive even if the body is tired or is failing. The unconscious does not judge failure or success. All the unconscious wants is more stimuli, whether good or bad, to figure out the stroke. Here is where the General must keep the action going but stay out of the way, making only subtle changes while allowing the unconscious time to learn the stroke. A player must trust the body's self-discovery ability and not over-think or cause paralysis by analysis.
 
Third, when a player reaches a plateau and does not feel like he is getting better, the conscious mind can save him. When a player stops learning he tends to unconsciously think he has reached his potential, especially after months of no improvement and he is on autopilot. He settles down and thinks, "This is it. I have reached my talent level." But that is not true.
 
Joshua Foer, in his book "Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything," addresses this exact dilemma. His solution says it best:
 
"The secret to improving at a skill is to retain some degree of conscious control over it while practicing - to force oneself to stay out of autopilot. With typing, it's relatively easy to get past the OK plateau. Psychologists have discovered that the most efficient method is to force yourself to type 10 to 20 percent faster than your comfort pace and to allow yourself to make mistakes. Only by watching yourself mistype at that faster speed can you figure out the obstacles that are slowing you down and overcome them. By bringing typing out of the autonomous stage and back under conscious control, it is possible to conquer the OK plateau" (2011 ed., page 172).
 
This means a player who has reached a plateau must begin consciously pushing himself or herself during the practice sessions to a point of failure. This will force the player out of the autopilot mode and begin the learning process once again! To move out of the OK plateau you must push yourself out of your comfort zone.
 
Yes, the conscious mind has a critical role in the learning process as well as match play. The key is to know its limitations. If you think the conscious mind is going to make the intricate mechanics of your strokes work, you are sadly mistaken. But if you think your conscious mind can create the conditions to allow those mechanics to work, your Tennis Warrior Mindset is happily shining through.
 

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Tennis Warrior 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 Tom Veneziano, all rights reserved.

Tom is a tennis pro teaching at the Piney Point Racquet Club in Houston, Texas. Tom has taught thousands of players to think like a pro with his Tennis Warrior System.

     

In Tom Veneziano's book "The Truth about Winning!", tennis players learn in a step-by-step fashion the thinking the pros have mastered to win! Tom takes you Step-by-step from basic mental toughness to advanced mental toughness. All skill levels can learn from this unique book from beginner to professional. No need to change your strokes just your thinking.

Audio CDs by Tom Veneziano:



 

nodot
nodot
Google
Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
 
Volvo Car Open Tickets
 
Wimbledon Tennis Tickets
 
Rogers Cup Tennis Tickets
 
Western & Southern Open Tennis Tickets
 
US Open Tennis Tickets
 
ATP World Tour Final Tennis Tickets
 

 

Tennis MindGame

 
Popular Tennis books:
 
Smart Tennis by John Murray
 
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:
 
Tennis Warrior: A Ball Machine Lesson with Tom by Tom Veneziano.
 
March 2017 Tennis Anyone: Your First Step by John Mills.
 
March 2017 Turbo Tennis: Specialty Shots You Need! by Ron Waite.
 
Tennis Warrior: Are We Learning Tennis the Correct Way? by Tom Veneziano.
 
February 2017 Tennis Anyone: Chop The Tree Down by John Mills.
 
February 2017 Turbo Tennis: What Your Opponent is 'Telling' You by Ron Waite.
 

 

 

 

 
 
Featured events in the Tennis Server Ticket Exchanges:
 
  Featured Tickets:
BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells CA Tennis Garden
Miami Open Tennis Tickets Miami Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
 
US Open Tennis Tickets

  Featured Tickets:
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 9 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 10 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 11 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 12 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 16 Fourth Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 15 Fourth Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 14 Men's Third Round Women's Fourth Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 13 Men's Third Round Women's Fourth Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 12 Third Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona

  Featured Tickets:
Sony Open Tennis Session 9 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 2nd Round Women's Singles 3rd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 10 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 2nd Round Women's Singles 3rd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 11 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles 3rd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 12 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles 3rd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center

  Featured Tickets:
Sony Open Tennis Session 17 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles & Doubles Quarterfinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 18 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles & Doubles Quarterfinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 19 Tickets Miami Women's Semifinals Men's Singles Quarterfinals Men's Doubles Semifinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 20 Tickets Miami Women's Semifinals Men's Singles Quarterfinals Men's Doubles Semifinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center

 
 
"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
Editor-in-chief
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