Coaching Tip - January 2017

    Self-Confidence is the key to improving your Tennis game
    Believe in Yourself

    The greatest weapon you can take onto the court is confidence.
    This self-confidence is something that comes from your expectations of success and failure
    and is developed as a result of your achievements and being aware of your own strengths and weaknesses.

    Confidence is about knowing that you can keep the ball in play consistently time after time and can be built by using a good conditioning process involving practice and self-belief.

    You will need to practice to develop confidence in your own strokes so that you can build
    positive habits of thought in your mind and your actions.
    • Believe in your shots
    • Know that you can hit them consistently

    A self confident person is a believer
    • Positive about him/herself
    • But also realistic

    Players should work on their confidence in the same way as they practice technique, tactics, fitness
    and the important in-match routines.

    Try out some of these tips to boost your self-confidence
    • Set realistic and achievable performance goals before the match
    Do not set a goal like “I will win 6/0 6/0” in this match
    Try instead to set a goal such as to ‘get 60% of first serves into play’
    • The use of positive self-talk can help to keep your thoughts positive
    “Great shot” after a hitting an important winning shot will help keep this positive outlook and give you
    the confidence to go for the shot again when appropriate
    • Regular fitness routines are important to develop your physical fitness ready for a possible
    long tennis match
    • Maintain a confident body language at training and during matches
    Keep your emotions in check
    Negative body language and verbal outbursts can be a boost to your opponents
    • Have a pride in your ability and how hard you have trained
    Try not to think that you are not ready for the match at hand
    • Players should use the lessons learnt and take inspiration from your role model(s)
    This can be of benefit as you are playing for your someone other than your self
    • Act or react decisively when hitting the tennis ball during a rally and learn to trust your instincts
    • Try not to think about making mistakes
    Don’t dwell on the last error but try to focus on the next point.

    Remaining positive is often difficult as players are influenced by the many negative factors that they encounter during a match.

    Your self-confidence can be affected by the following negatives
    • Frequent mistakes or too many errors during a match
    • Missing the easy balls or put aways
    • Double faults
    Frequent doubles or at crucial times when under pressure
    • Losing to players rated below you or to players you would expect to beat

    During a match you should try to evaluate these instances in a positive and constructive way
    so that your self-confidence is not dented or deflated.

    I hope that the hints above will be of some benefit and help you develop your own self belief.

    Tennis the game of a lifetime

    Contact me by Email if you have any comments or helpful hints to build or retain your self-confidence.
    Let me know the things that work for you.

    Coach Steve