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In my experience the simplest way to help players win more matches quickly is to focus on a subtle but vital change in the way that almost all coaches and parents communicate around the experience of 'negative thinking' during matches... Check out my latest 'Mental Toughness Made Simple video to see how to make this shift...

PACT Method Quick Guide… 

If you’d like to discover the method that we at Mentally Tough Tennis use with significant success to help players respond better to mental challenges so they can better apply their helpful strategy, check out our PACT Method Quick Guide to understanding and improving mental toughness. You can get it here :-)

Have a great week,

Anthony


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Why the Importance of Strategy is Often Overrated...

 

 

Two players have similar physical/technical skills...On a 1-10 Helpfulness Scale Player A has a strategy of 7 but is only a 3 on the ability to apply the strategy when faced with mental challenges, while Player B has a strategy of 3 but is a 7 on the ability to apply the strategy when face with mental challenges. If they play 10 times, how many times do you think each player would win?

I think player B wins nearly every time. The reason?

When players compete they are frequently faced with very challenging mental experiences (nerves, frustration, outcome thoughts, etc). What tends to happen for most players at all levels of the game is that very quickly they begin to act based on these difficult internal experiences. At this point how good one’s strategy is becomes largely irrelevant because they can’t apply it when ‘caught up’ in the unintentional difficult match related mental challenges...And because nearly every circumstance throughout...

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The 2019 Mens Wimbledon Final: History Repeats in Federer Heartbreaker...

 

 

 

It goes without saying that this was one of the greatest mental battles in tennis history.

So much amazing tennis...

So many swings…

So many roundabouts…

So much pressure…

And ultimately once again the great game of tennis was able to dig to the core of the matter and reward the player who believed most that they were the better player (as painful as that is for Federer fan like me)…

For Djokovic this deep belief has developed over many years. Twice before he has come from 2 match points down to beat Federer at the US Open. In the 2014 Wimbledon final Djokovic won after Federer had a break point early in the 5th set. In the 2015 Wimbledon final, Federer converted 1 of 7 break chances, whereas Djokovic converted 4 of 10 to win a tight affair. And in the 2015 US Open final with the match tied at a set all Federer had 2 break points when leading 3-4 in the 3rd set.

All in all, Djokovic has been steadily establishing his...

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It looked like Alexander Zverev was ready to become a real Grand Slam contender at the end of 2018 when he won the Year End ATP Finals. But unfortunately things haven't turned out that way this year and yesterday was another step in the wrong direction with him reporting that his confidence is at an all-time low. In this 'Mental Toughness Made Simple' video I discuss what confidence is and how best to develop it. Have a great day :-)

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Despite what we've been led to believe, it is NOT advisable to encourage players to try to control emotions during matches. Check out the reasons why and what we should do instead... 

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My Memories of Ash Barty…And the 6 Keys That Have Combined to Create A Champion

 

 

 

##Note: Registration for our 2019 Mental Toughness Made Simple Player Class is closing in 48hr…You can check out class details here

During my time as a Tennis Australia Psychologist I spent several years working at the Brisbane Academy with a group of about 15 players. One of those players was Ash Barty. Here are the 6 key reasons I believe she is now a Champion on and off the court…

1.) Competitiveness: Ash is super competitive. From a very early age she was always looking to compete in whatever she did. Whether it be playing table tennis, to kicking the footy with the other players in the group.

2.) Physical Talent: I still remember the 1st time I saw Ash play when she must have been about 9 years old. I walked into the tournament and saw one point where this tiny girl hit a great kick serve and followed it with amazing feel during the rally. I can still remember the amazement of that moment today...

3.) Stubbornness: Ash has always wanted...

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The 3 Mental Keys to Ash Barty's Brave French Open Semi-Final Win...

 

 

What an incredible rollercoaster that was!

A perfect example of why tennis is the ultimate sporting mental test. Tough conditions…Massive momentum shifts…And ultimately an incredibly brave effort from Ash Barty to make her 1stGrand Slam final.

There’s a lot we can learn from such a great battle. Because tennis is so challenging it never has been and never will be about perfection. Instead it will always be about dealing with frequent challenges just a little better than the person down the other end. And beneath massive momentum swings that are so common in matches usually lies the same predictable psychological processes for all players who are willing to put it on the line as these 2 young ladies did.

Here’s my most important takeaways:

1.) Compete Your Hardest When Your Opponent Is Ahead, As This Is When It's Most Likely They'll Play Their Worst

The moment that a player realises they are in reach of winning a set or match, but have...

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Wawrinka vs Tsitsipas is Why Tennis is the Greatest Game of All...

 

 

What an epic...

5hr and 9min of great competing...Ups and downs...Twists and turns...And finally an incredible chip passing shot by the Grand Slam specialist Wawrinka to pronounce his return as a serious Slam threat.

Its a shame there had to be a loser in this one. But above all, simply seeing the last point, hearing the crowd's roar, and feeling the emotion of the embrace that followed tells us all we need to about why tennis is the greatest game of all...And why we love it so much :-)

It also reminds us of the key performance values that we should connect with before we step onto the court for practice or matches...Let's listen to how Wawrinka and Tsitsipas described what they valued most when reflecting on the match:

On Striving to Win:

Wawrinka: "That's the reason why I still play tennis, and that's the reason why I'm practising every day, to try to win big matches like this."

Tsitsipas: "We both struggled, we both went beyond our limits, we both experienced luck...

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We can take many lessons from the amazing run that Naomi Osaka is currently on in the Slams. But there is one that stands out more than any other for me...

 

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Did you see that Naomi Osaka lost her Madrid Masters match after leading 5-3 40-15 in the 3rd?

Thats right, even the world number 1 can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory :-)

Whats more, she only won 2 more points for the rest of the match...

And in my latest 'Mental Toughness Made Simple' video I reflect on the crucial lesson we can learn from Osaka's experience. It is, in my opinion, the most important factor in what separates the winners from the losers on any given day.

Check it out by clicking below:

If you would like to access to a video example and instructions for the activity that we find most useful in helping players apply these ideas during matches you can do so here :-)

 

 

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