Tennis is an exciting and inspirational game. It can also be quite exasperating when mistakes creep into your game. By nature, we are more aware of how poorly we are playing than how to correct mistakes to play well. We are usually meaner to ourselves than to others.
Be kind to yourself – erase your mistakes
Mistakes happen in tennis.
*At the top level of the game, the pros may win 50-54% of the points they play – that means, they are losing 46-50% of the points they play.
*The sports psychologists remind us to “let it go”, “focus on the positive” and several other cliches we have all heard.
*What is a practical approach that works in the middle of a match for us club players? How do I erase my mistakes instead of accumulating them and affecting my results?
Step 1 – Practice Swing
*Your mind has a tendency to remember the last thing that happened. So, instead of having the feel of your last miss shot stored in your body, take a practice swing – with no ball, just a free and relaxed swing. Make it like you would have liked to have made the perfect shot – forehand, backhand, serve or volley.
*Your body and mind will record the positive motion. You will replace the memory of the miss with the feel of what you wanted the swing to feel like.
Step 2 – Practice
*When returning a ball to your opponent to serve to you, do a perfect drop and hit. Make it be the best shot ever, replace the feel of the miss with the feel of the shot you wanted to hit.
*In a match, you will return about 80 balls to your opponent so they can serve to you. That is 80 chances to feel the perfect shot, erase the feeling of the miss and store a positive feel for the ball.