If you have been following my suggestions you would have heard me talk a lot about what I call ‘Committed Actions’. These are the processes that players should commit to during points that increase the chance of improvement and success.
But what are the actions that players should commit to? At Mentally Tough Tennis we categorize them into 4 categories...and that’s what this week’s ‘Mental Toughness Made Simple’ video is about.
During times when our actions aren’t matching our stated Purpose on a consistent basis, it’s great to complete this 4-question activity to help re-commit to helpful actions for the next time we are going on-court.
1.) Imagine you are attending your own retirement party from sport. If the party was to occur right now what would people important to you (e.g., your coach, parents) say about your involvement in tennis?
2.) Now imagine that the retirement party is occurring in the future. What would you like these people to say at this time about your sports participation?
3.) How does what they would say now compare to what you wish they would have to say?
4.) What’s the smallest, easiest action you could take in your next session to make it more likely they would say things that reflect what is important to you?
If you'd like a copy of the Retirement Party Activity, click here...
If players' want to fulfil their potential, there is one question that is the most important of all for them to reflect on before they play matches.
And that is what this week's 'Mental Toughness Made Simple' video is about...
I hope you find it helpful :-)
So how has John Millman gone from a teenager with one of the poorer techniques in his local squad to becoming one of the top 50 male players on the planet and earning himself another date on the centre court at a Grand Slam with the great Roger Federer?
In today's 'Mental Toughness Made Simple' video I discuss his greatest talent which is also the #1 predictor of how much players improve over time...
At it's core our mental toughness requires simply bringing our 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
The Usefulness of Key Words...
And to increase the chance that we actually commit to helpful actions that increase the chance of success on each new point, it's a great idea to use a key word or words that remind us of the process that we're going to commit to.
To get the idea check out the video above where Bianca Andreescu reflects on her use of key words in committing to helpful actions, and Mentally Tough Tennis consultant Pat Flynn gives us the idea of how to use key words in our between point routine.
We've also put together a Worksheet...
With the Australian Open qualifying event underway, Mentally Tough Tennis consultant Pat Flynn advises on what players should focus on and commit to during points...
He also reflects on his consulting role this week involving new coaching rules that are being experimented with for the 1st time in a Grand Slam this week.
Check out Pat's video above :)
During the 2018 clay court season, Rafael Nadal broke another amazing record, becoming the first male player to win 50 straight sets on any one surface. Consider that in his last 46 sets on clay before yesterday, no opponent had reached a tie-break against him and just once had someone achieved a 7-5 loss and his mind boggling run seems even more astonishing.
It got me reflecting on the mental attribute required to achieve such a feat and one stood out.
Andre Agassi described this attribute well in his book: ‘Open’. He said this about the difference between the great champions and the rest:
“The more you can be present on every point. I think that’s why you see great champions separate themselves at the end of a set or at the end of a match, because they are the ones that aren’t changing in their execution. They are not assigning a value to any one point more than another. It is about what they do...
Just over a year ago Grigor Dimitrov looked every bit a player who was destined to be remembered as a career underachiever.
Nicknamed ‘Baby Fed’ when he emerged from the juniors as World #1 for his similarity in technique and gamestyle to the great Federer, it seemed just a matter of time before he became one of the game’s very elite.
But 7 years later that destiny had not materialized and at the end by the end of 2016, having not yet achieved an end of year ranking in the top 10, a new wave of young stars were starting to pass him by.
Fast Forward To Last Night
Fast forward to last night however, and we were looking at a very different Dimitrov…
One who has redirected the path of his career with the help of an obviously very skilled coach in Dani Vallverdu, to the point of becoming an incredibly effective competitor who put on a mental toughness master class for all of those who were lucky enough to watch.
Here are 5 key ways Dimitrov...
Typically, when players miss a ball during practice, they tend to feed the next ball in quite quickly (generally a couple of secs) without intentionally refocusing before the start of the rally.
When players do this, however, they miss out on a great opportunity to develop basic competitive skills.
Here are 2 activities I complete with players regularly to help them practice intentionally refocusing and committing to a helpful process for each new rally (you can also see me explain and complete the activities with USC All-American Jack Jaede in the video above where he is completing the 'calling the attention' activity I showed you in an earlier video post...)
Activity 1: 5 Secs Between Rallies
When players miss a ball they must take approximately 5 secs before they are allowed to feed the next ball
Players are instructed to use this time to ensure that they are explicitly focused and committed to a helpful process before starting the next rally.
The Benefit: ...
Mental toughness occurs when players intentionally bring their attention into the present at the start of each rally/point, then actually commit action to a helpful process during the point.
But how do we know if players are actually committing to their chosen attention?
And how can players practice this Attention + Action combination?
One simple way is to get players to verbalise the attention they are committing to as they do it...Watch this video to see an example of USC All-American Jack Jaede verbalising a strategy attention...
And if you would like access to our Committed Actions Worksheet which we use to encourage players to more often do processes that increase the chance of success You Can Get It Here...
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