A huge thank you to Dan Kiernan and Soto Academy in Spain for allowing us to share this video from our coach professional development workshop last night. We had a great discussion regarding Roger Federer's coaching advice for Fabio Fognini and why part of Federer's advice was likey not helpful. Particularly when he said "If he hits a good forehand you respect it, ok maybe he was lucky it doesn't matter. believe in the good thing, you cannot be frustrated". I also mention how I advise coaches to approach situations where a player is experiencing difficult unintentional thoughts and feelings during matches... Check out the clip below.
When I was a child I fell in love with tennis. I fell in love with the challenge... I fell in love with the fun... I fell in love with the competing...I fell in love with the camaraderie and much more. To this day all I need to do is picture in my mind walking into the outback tennis centres where I played most of my junior tournaments to trigger great joy.
For those of us who love tennis, watching the men's US Open final was a great reminder of why that is...Watching Rafa resist Medvedev's incredible fightback, like all great Grand Slam battles, shows us that ultimately it is the greatest sporting test. No other sport tests the physical, technical, tactical, and mental elements so completely.
And this match proved to be the ultimate mental test. The physical demands, the pressure, trying to hang on when behind, trying to finish when in front, , the doubts, the wandering mind, the frustrations...It had it all :-)
This match was also a reminder that we...
Matteo Berrettini spoke frequently about how nervous he was feeling during his US Open Quarter Final match...If you are a coach or parent its important to reflect on how you talk to you players/child about nerves? What do you recommend they do if/when nervous feelings show up?`
At Mentally Tough Tennis we recommend that you make it your highest priority to encourage your players develop the skills that allow them to be more accepting of difficult internal experiences like nerves and frustration. One great way to do this is to normalise these feelings, as opposed to encouraging your players to try to control difficult emotions (which tends to lead to not only normal levels of difficult feelings during challenging situations, but additionally worry or judgement about being nervous or frustrated).
This is a crucial shift from traditional sport psychology advice and, given Berrettini's reflections, it's obvious that his coaching/support team have done a terrific job...
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,
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...
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...
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...
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...
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:
Today I want to focus on a crucial lesson we can take from what were in my opinion the 5 most important points of Fabio Fognini’s career last week in Monte Carlo. Now you might be thinking these points occurred during his amazing win against Nadal but they didn't.... Take a look at the video to find out :-)
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