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The 2 Foundations of Mental Toughness (Video Post)

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I often find myself saying to players that "the components of tennis mental toughness are relatively easy to understand but very hard to do"...

At it's core our mental toughness requires simply bringing their attention into the present at the start of a rally or point and choosing to commit to a helpful process (e.g., a technical cue like 'stay low', or a strategy such as 'rally deep and attack the short ball')  during the rally or point.

In this way the formula for mental toughness is Present Moment Attention + Helpful Committed Action = Mental Toughness

And the key reflection...

We must regularly check in at the end of rallies/points and ask the following question: Did I actually commit my actions to my chosen attention during the rally or point?

The bottom line is that, assuming that we know the processes that will most help us improve (in practice) and improve/win (in matches), the player who most frequently commits to repeating this simple formula in practice and...

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3 Simple But Powerful Ways Players Can Develop Mental Toughness...

 

 

1.) Practice Improving Attention Skills…

The 1stbarrier to mental toughness is when our concentration lapses.

Players can lose concentration during matches when they get distracted by external causes (e.g., sounds), or also when their naturally wandering minds start thinking about things not to do with the match.

It’s quite amazing that although being able to aim and maintain attention on a helpful performance target is such a foundational requirement to successful performance…

And although we are regularly told to “Pay attention” during our developmental years, we rarely actually formally practice it.

This is a little like expecting someone to get fit without doing fitness training!

Here is a super simple way that players can develop attention skills during the daily activity of teeth cleaning:

Step 1.) The idea is to see how long we can aim and maintain our attention on a sensory aspect of the activity…

So the sound of the...

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