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Ash Barty and the Independent Athlete Myth...

 

 

Watching Ash Barty's journey to becoming Wimbledon champion was an amazing example of the crucial nature of having the incredible support and guidance from a fantastic team and family.

The trend of the very best players in the world building bigger, more long term, support teams contradicts the theme in player development involving the goal of creating independent players.

Unfortunately, the goal of player independence and complete responsibility underestimates the importance of the support teams' relationship with developing players, and is sometimes designed to absolve those not suitably skilled to build effective relationships from responsibility in player development.

And brain research has shown that it’s not possible to create an independent player anyway....

Since most players are not in a position to have a support team, let's focus here on the coach-player relationship.

So how can we balance players’ best interests by simultaneously encouraging...

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

 

 

 

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 to do it her way. She wouldn’t implement any suggestions without a very good explanation of why it could be helpful. She was always...

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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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