There are many factors that go into being “successful” on the tennis court… your shot making ability, your power, your conditioning, and (maybe most important) your mental ability. Being able to stay calm on the tennis court (between and during points) can play a big role in how you play.
A while back, after losing to World #1 Fred Drilling for the second year in a row at one of the January Florida Super Senior Grand Prix tournaments in virtually the identical lopsided score, I said to him, “Fred, I am disappointed that I could not get a better measurement of my improvement over the last year; because YOU got better too!”
He replied, “No, I don’t think I got better. I got CALMER.” He learned how to stay relaxed on the court and during the point.
How To Get Calmer
Jeff Greenwald, in his “Fearless Tennis” books and CDs talks about learning to “center yourself” on the tennis court by focusing on your breathing and bringing your attention INTO your body.
He points out that to get good at this skill, like everything else, you need to practice it. He recommends taking at least five minutes each day to just relax, breath, and learn to focus inwardly.
I have been using Jeff’s concepts for a couple of years now; and have just enhanced the activity with a simple, free iPhone application called Calm.com. It is basically an introduction into meditation, which is really what relaxed breathing and mental cleansing is all about.
If you haven’t tried any of these concepts, you should… it can help both on and off the tennis court.
What have you tried?
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