In tennis,
mastery of the mind is the crucial factor that tips the balance in favor of the winner.

Everyone who ever played the game of tennis has experienced psychological problems. Even just practicing or learning to play involves certain
mental challenges.

But tennis competition is hardest on the mind.

The mental challenges often begin with pre-match anxiety. They continue with various emotional ups and downs during the match, like going from a bad mood, losing focus and feeling frustrated ... to being anxious, nervous and angry.

Players "lose" themselves in the emotional storms of the mind and play tennis well below their potential.

Tennis looks very simple when you watch a good player. But the road to mastery is long and it doesn't matter which area you're working on


All sports have 4 main areas - technical, tactical, physical and mental.

Tennis is no exception and the mental part of tennis is usually the deciding factor that tips the scales in the match.

Why is the mental part of tennis so challenging? How come we see so many intelligent, successful adult people cursing and throwing racquets on the tennis courts?

As you probably know, one of the best teachers in the game of tennis is experience..

But a better and faster way of learning to play better tennis is through the experience of others.

That way you can see where others have made mistakes or have been successful - whether this relates to the strategy or the mental part of the game.

This means that you don't have to make the same mistakes and you don't have to waste time finding the most successful strategies and mental approaches for certain situations.

Tennis Psychology
The foundation of winning tennis

The field of tennis psychology is not just common advice and tactical or mental tips.

It is based on general and sports psychology and then applied to tennis specifically.

There are many common elements in the psychology of tennis which can be found in other sports too.

An athlete that wants to perform at his peak needs to learn:

1. How to control his thinking
Negative thinking affects players much more than they are aware of. It affects body abilities in two ways - being aware of them (feeling tension) and being unaware (the pendulum experiment); moreover it evokes negative feelings - emotions that cloud the player's judgment and affect his body abilities - again.

By being more and more aware of what he is thinking a player can then change his thoughts to a more positive and solution based thinking. The awareness of our thoughts is quite a challenge in the tennis psychology approach.

2. How to control his arousal - to manage his intensity and body energy
A player's arousal can be too high or too low and in both cases he is not able to play his best tennis. Arousal affects his body and mind abilities - a player may have too much muscle tension and his decisions are usually not tactically intelligent.

Learning to find the "ideal state" is the key in controlling one's arousal and one of the most important aspects of tennis psychology.

3. What elements of the tennis game can a player control
A player may get upset (and it happens often) about an event that he cannot control or even influence. For example - the noise of the planes flying over the court, windy conditions, court conditions, his opponent's luck and so on.

By being focused on these events he wastes his energy which could be used on elements that he can control - his attitude and effort, how he intends to play,

4. How to improve concentration
Many players start the match with good concentration but they drop their level of concentration because of disturbing outside events, pressure situations, emotional reactions to various events and so on. A player needs to learn how to quickly and effectively refocus to be able to play his best tennis.

5. How to use visualization
Imagery or visualization is extremely useful in almost all aspects of the tennis game. A player can improve technique, strategy, physical abilities and his mental preparation of certain events. Another use of imagery is when a player misses a shot and then quickly sees in his mind how he hit the ball correctly.

Using imagery is an incredibly efficient technique, not only in tennis sports psychology but in everyday life too.

6. How to build confidence
Confidence is one of those elements where tennis psychology can help really quickly and with very simple tools. A player who is not confident will hesitate in his decisions, will be afraid to take risks and his shots will usually miss by just a little. Doubt can be seen in reality as small misses that happen regularly.

When a player builds his confidence he is able to play at his best and doesn't lose his hope when a big challenge appears.

7. How to find and get rid of limiting beliefs
Limiting beliefs are one of the most limiting and troublesome aspects of human's psyche. They are mostly deep in the subconsciousness and are sometimes hard to find. A limiting belief for example is when a player believes that he is not good in tie-breaks and he will then self-sabotage himself in those crucial moments to prove himself right.

Having no limiting beliefs means that the player is in total acceptance of everything that happens. Outside events are just events with no meaning. Tennis psychology helps the player to accept and deal with them.

8. How to empty the mind - Inner Game of tennis principles to enter the zone
There are three main principles of the Inner Game - quieting the mind, non-judgment and trusting the body. The player must first learn to apply them in training. And when he experiences these effects in training he knows what to look for in the match. He then plays the inner game - how to perform at his peak.

These are the fundaments of tennis psychology and by understanding these principles and applying them daily a player develops mental toughness. He knows how to apply the tools and as a very positive side effect gains a lot of self confidence.

He now knows that he has ways of dealing with his own mind and that most of his competitors do not. He is aware that he has the edge in the most stressful situations in the match and that gives him self confidence.

By constant application of these tools a player becomes more and more proficient with them and finds his ideal mental state very quickly if he happens to lose it. These losses of ideal state happen less and less often.


Learning some basics

Mental Toughness is the accumulation of valuable information that can be utilized at the proper time. To become mentally tough you must seek out and learn information that will develop your mental skills. Although many of these mental skills are logical and make sense, few players choose to utilize them. There are three reasons why.

1. No one has told them
2. They cling to incorrect preconceive notions
3. Their emotions control their thinking

If you play tennis and you can overcome these three obstacles, you can dramatically improve your mental toughness and your tennis game. If you are a beginner, you can improve your ability to learn faster. Let us address these obstacles one at a time.

1. No one has told them. Many times players just do not have access to the correct information about learning tennis, playing tennis, and mental toughness. As a result they make decisions based on incorrect thinking. I can remedy that! You can begin by signing up for my free monthly Email Tennis Lesson.

2. Incorrect preconceived notions. This category of incorrect concepts includes:

a. Hitting winners, wins matches

b. Success and failure are opposites

c. Success is complicated

d. Acknowledging negatives is negative thinking

e. Negatives, mistakes, and failures are bad

f. Mental toughness means you never fail

g. Mental toughness is being emotionally charged

h. When you learn the truth about these misconceptions you will be surprised!

3. Emotions controlling their thinking. Most players become entangled in their emotions when faced with negatives, mistakes, and failures. They let the emotion control the thinking, instead of the thinking, with the correct information, control the emotions. Part of mental toughness is mental control over your emotions that react to negatives, mistakes, and failures. From these three obstacles the most difficult one to overcome is emotions controlling the thinking. Incorrect emotion skews the thinking and causes you to think contrary to the correct