Tennis Confidence: Fear and The Mental Game
In this tennis course, I will give you four recommendations that will help you master the fear of failing in the most important points of your tennis matches. We will also analyze how Belgian and former world number 1 Justin Henin uses these recommendations to dominate their fear and win the semifinal against Serbia Ana Ivanovic. We will also see that not only does Henin use these techniques successfully but most elite players including Rafa Nadal use these techniques to not let their fear control their tennis game.
Belgian Justine Henin, who qualified for the final of the Women’s Tennis Masters by defeating Serbian Ana Ivanovic (6-4 and 6-4), said she was “a little afraid” because she lost “intensity” in The second set, when he let himself tie – to three games – just when he already had the party on the road to victory.
Fear is something natural and we can all feel a little fear at a certain moment but, The question here is
How can I master that fear of failing at the really important points of the party?
Fear is one of the most powerful paralyzes that exist in mankind and thanks to him or unfortunately, he has stopped many feats that would have possibly achieved great achievements not only in the sports field but in all other fields of life.
What explanation do you have in training you play phenomenally and in the game, you feel that you play at 50% of your ability? If this is your case possibly and even if you do not want to recognize the fear and failure to train your mind are possibly the cause of this situation.
As a tennis player, I must tell you that there is no technique, tactics or physical condition that can survive fear. If fear invades you, everything falls apart. So I recommend you pay close attention to this podcast
The fear of failing produces really inexplicable things in a game of tennis, an example of it is when a professional player who has removed millions of times successfully and without problems, commits a double fault in the most important point of the party. How do we explain that? Is it a technical problem? Is it your physical condition? It may be but it has been shown that this occurs in 90% of cases as a result of fear of failure.
The first recommendation to help you control that fear of failing in your tennis matches is that when you are playing do not customize the faults, that is, if you make a mistake by executing a task such as failure to serve at that important point of match Point does not relate to you being a bad player. I recommend you to see it as an error and nothing else. This error corresponds to the fact and not to the essence of what you are as a player.
If you personalize this fact with what you are as a player it will be very difficult to remove it later from the mental point of view and as the error is repeated and you personalize it again, they give you much more power and strength to return that same situation Occurring in the future, because in your mind being the same, the mistake and you, what will happen is that whenever you are performing that game of tennis in important points you will be very inclined to commit the double fault that you fear so much.
On the other hand, if you see it as that was a punctual error you can remove that mental burden from above quickly. The final advice here is that you do not let victory or defeat of an important point determine what you are as a player.
The second recommendation I want to give you in relation to the fear of failing is that you do not give so much importance to what all other people around you expect. The more important you give to what they expect of you, the greater your fear of failure will be. The solution to this problem is that you always play for yourself and not for what others expect of you, the idea here is that you focus on giving the best of you in each game, what will happen if you see yourself giving it The better of you is that your fear will come down. Try it and see. This has its explanation and reason for being by the functioning of the mind.
In relation to all this and to have greater control of your fear, I recommend that you focus on what you want to do and not on what could happen if you do not win.
It is very common to see players who are so afraid to fail that their subconscious mind chooses to do little in the game of tennis. His mind says something like: “If I try hard on the game and then lose, the viewers will say that I lost because I have not tried hard enough and not because I have no talent … This is a defense mechanism of the subconscious mind powered by The distrust that occurs very often and that is At the same time quite absurd.
I’m going to make a little break after giving you these two recommendations and see the statements of Belgian and former world number 1 Justine Hennin in 2007 after beating Sebia Ana Ivanovic and qualifying for the Final of the tournament:
The Belgian said she is not worried about having committed nine double faults in the match: “I do not care if I do many double faults, I play to get winning points,” he said.
As we see in analyzing his words we observe several important aspects:
- He acknowledges that he was afraid. Something normal happens to us all at certain times.
- When he says “The desire to be in the final were very present in me” We see how he focused on what he wants and not on what could happen if he did not win.
- When she says: “I am not worried about having committed 9 double faults in the match” I very well dissociate the error of herself as a player during the match, not only for the final result of the party but she herself of his words refers To double faults with the word “the fact” of having committed 9 double faults
- When he says: “I do not mind making many double faults, I play to get winning points” takes weight off the issue and does not care what others can think of a number of double faults he has committed since he tells the journalist directly That does not matter Then focus again on what you want and not on what you fear “Game to get winning points”.
The third recommendation to help control your fear of failure is to think of the worst thing that could happen to you if you fail that tennis game, is it as serious as your mind thinks? Many times the demons that our mind makes are a thousand times darker than what happens frequently in reality.
The fourth recommendation to control your fear of failure is that before entering the tennis court, during the bounce and in the draw to decide who starts out, do not stop moving. Physical activation plays a very important role. The idea is to start sweating so you release the most endorphins which have a relaxing effect on your body. Have you seen Rafa Nadal when he enters the tennis court? If you have not seen it the next time you see him play to look at these details.
The important thing here is not to eliminate fear completely since we are human beings and it is normal that certain situations give us fear, but the key here is to learn to handle these situations of fear of failure so that it does not affect our level of play.
The fear of failure is very linked to the fear of winning, although this will be touched later in other installments or training programs if I can tell you that both fears have their roots in self-confidence.
If you really want to deepen and train your mind as a tennis player, do not forget to leave your concerns in the comments section. Leaving your comments is important since being able to know what is most concerned or want to learn in this subject will allow me to quickly identify what it is that you want to improve and to focus on how I can help you in future podcast like these as in programs Of much deeper training for tennis players who really want to train their mind in a more serious way.