Ljubica Jovanović

Mental & Motivational Coach

Tennis mental coach

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Be concentrated!

 

Almost all of tennis players around the world are closed in their homes, full of wish to play and develop. This blog post is made because in all countries there isnt any posibility for tennis trainings. This is the right time for raising your mental strenght, doing some exercises at home. There are many various exercises for increasing your concentration. Some of them can be implemented in training process on the tennis court, but some of them you can train at home.

 

There are many different, but still similar definitions of concentration.

 

Concentration is a possibility to direct your attention on desired action during longer period of time.

 

Concentration means being completely focused.

 

Directing attention, ability of focusing on relevant thing, on game during the match in environment which disturbs you.

 

How many times has it happened that Marko leads 4-1 and opponents father start yelling at his son. That starts annoying Marko, he changes his focus, starts making mistakes and soon the result is 4-4. In that moment, he is trying to get his attention back on the game, but the thoughts like You were leading, look where are you now. You can easily lose the match. start disturbing him and he continues with bad game until the end of that set.

 

In this example we noticed that one of the biggest distractions is the audience and their cheering. Factors that also interfere players is the match that happening on the adjacent court, opponents bad behavior, wind and many other different factors from environment which players cant eliminate, control and dont have any influence on them.

 

From my experience with tennis players, I noticed a couple of common repeated problems which happened during the match and which disturb their focusing:

 

1. Audience, whats happening on the court beside, trains or airplanes if the court is near the railway station or airport,

2. Inability to forget last point which they lost. For example it is 4-4 30:30, opponent calls out after your first service and you know for sure that the ball is good, but after argument with the opponent, judge makes decision that your opponent is right and after that you make double service fault. Now, you are not in very good position, because your opponent has break point and you are getting more and more angry at yourself because you let that happened. Opponent wins that game. After that his service is brilliant, this is an ace, and very fast he wins his service game. You lost first set with 6-4 just because bad line call. You cant eliminate your bad thoughts, your guilt, these feelings increase, you only focus on that point, and because you stayed in past moments, you will probably lose second set and whole match.

3. Reflections about on future events. Questions like What if I lose my service game?, What if I lose this important point?, What if I lose first set?, What if I lose my big advantage?, What if? are very frustrating. These thoughts about future, dont allow players be in present moment, be focused on their game and on the current point.

4. When you are focused on mistakes, you just keep repeating to yourself Where am I wrong?. When you are focused on mistake, you will make that mistake. When you focused to much on proper technical execution of shot, that will lead to muscle tightness, to repeating mistakes, anxiety and deconcentration during the match.

5. Choking on some critical points. For example you won the first set and in the second you lead 5-3, it is your service and you have match ball. In that moment your muscles and arm are tightened and in combination with thoughts Dont make double fault! or Dont lose this point! you lose focus from the game and you make double service fault or hit volley in the net.

 

All of these previous problems cause physical and mental changes like muscles tightness, difficulties in breathing, rapid heartbeat which make players dont play their game and be totally focused.

 

I mentioned that there are different exercises for concentration improvement which can be trained on tennis court. We are now in very difficult situation and all tennis players around the world cant play tennis. I will give you exercise for concentration development which you can train at home.

 

FREE SAMPLE 1010 CONCENTRATION GRIDS (PRINTABLE/PDF FILE)  FOR ...

 

 

In this table there are numbers from 0 to 100. For 60 seconds you should scan table and find as many numbers in the specified order. You can set the order by yourself. E.g. you can start from 0 to 100, or from 100 to 0, or you can start from 20 to 100 or from 20 to 0, or maybe you can start with even or odd numbers from 0 or from 20. There are really unlimited number of possibilities in which you can order numbers. It is important to be time limited e.g. 1 minute and at the beginning, you should be in silence. Practice this exercise a couple of times a day, for a few days in row. This way your concentration will be improved, and you will notice development in scanning whole court and whole situation there. First time you will notice this when youll play doubles. After couple days while you are doing this exercise include different distractions like TV, music, put yourself in crowded room. With this exercise you will train your focus and concentration and in the future you will see the improvement while playing with noisy audience or when noise comes from the adjacent court etc. If you train your concentration you will develop your game and you will eliminate all distractions that can disturb your attention.

 

Many players, tennis coaches and parents think that concentration means that players have to put more effort on the court, to try harder, but concentration means a set of skills which have to be developed through systematic program of exercises on the court and out of it.

 

Use this time in quarantine to improve your performance, to get new knowledge and skills.

 

 

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