Next to technique, tactics and the physical aspect of tennis, this sport is also a mental game. Being very talented and hard working alone won’t make you a champion.
Don’t get me wrong, players like Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer play unbelieveble tennis. However, what especially separates them from let’s say the other top 10 ATP is their strong mental game.
“The bottom line is that tennis is a very mental game. Everybody is strong, everybody is pushing hard. But the difference between the top players is the mental ability to cope with the pressure and hit the right shots at the right time and stay calm in the moments when you need to stay calm.” -Novak Djokovic
One of the best ways to start playing your matches more consistantly is working on your mental game, and then i’m especially talking about the confidence you have in yourself and in your own tennis game.
Most tennis players experience lack of confidence sooner or later in their tennis journey. This feeling of not being confident can affect their shots, their movement and their shot selection.
Confidence is a combination of preparation and believing in your abilities. Both of them can be improved! In order for muscles to get stronger, they have to be exercised. The same holds true for the “self-confidence muscle”.
When your are feeling confident, you will feel positive emotions and think positive thoughts. It will be easier to concentrate and will push you to set more challenging goals. Your confidence influences which shots you are playing and how much effort you are putting into your game. The feeling that nothing can happen to you no matter which of your club players you face, wouldn´t that be great?
So what can you do to increase your self-confidence on court?
Believe in yourself
Everything you do in life starts with believing in yourself. I mean, does it even make sense to do something if you don´t believe in yourself? Champions believe in themselves first. Everything else follows. They’re confident because they believe, and because they’re confident, they win. What do you believe?
There is a perfect saying for this:
´´Whether you think you can or you think you can’t you’re right´´ – Henry Ford
Continue to work hard in your practice sessions and practice even harder if you feel you are able to. Not only in your tennis sessions, but also work on improving your physical shape. Work on both your strengths and weaknesses consistantly.
Work on your shot selection and try to find your game style. Whether or not you´re having a good day, whether you are winning or losing, when you know what kind of player you are, you know which shot you like to play and which one not. Key to self-confidence on the tenniscourt!
High goals vs high expectations
Being confident is all about knowing your abilities and remaining confident in all circumstances. Having high expectations focuses on outcomes and your performance levels. It puts you into a succeed/fail mentality. It makes it easy to lose confidence when you fail.
High goals, on the other hand, give you a direction that you’re moving in. Regardless of the outcomes of specific games or matches, you’re improving and moving toward greater confidence.
Play on a level lower
When you want to boost your confidence, do some easier training drills. A drill I always like to do to gain more confidence in my game is a very easy one: Have someone to feed me very easy shots from the basket while i´m trying to hit a winner on every shot. After I finished one basket I feel so good and ready to crush my opponent´s easier shots!
Another good option is to play a match against an opponent you beat most of the time. This will help you to go back to your basics and ultimately increase your confidence.
View mistakes and errors as opportunities
When you´re losing or making mistakes, you may be vulnerable to losing confidence. Everyone makes mistakes and have a bad day from time to time. However, champions see mistakes and loses as an opportunity to grow from. Pick yourself up and keep fighting towards your goals, never give up!
Self-confidence is key! however, it´s not that easy to gain.
Try to work on your confidence with the guidence of these tips. With baby steps your confidence will become better and better. Remember: You got this!
Please send this to a friend who struggles with their self confidence and let us know what works for you 🙂