If you've been following my communications for a while you'll be aware that I believe trying to control unintentional difficult thoughts (e.g., outcome thoughts, negative thinking) and emotions (anxiety, frustration) during matches is detrimental to long term mental toughness.
What we do want to do however is communicate (if you're a coach or parent), and reflect in ways that lead to more helpful mental experiences over time.
Here are 5 ways we can do this:
The most powerful way to improve internal experiences in a given performance situation when encountered in the future is to commit to desired actions now.
For example, when a player performs well while experiencing difficult internal states, this positive performance outcome will likely lead to more adaptive interpretations of that situation when experienced again.
The player will also implicitly learn from this experience that desirable internal states are not required for effective...
Recently during a Workshop with Vida Tennis, coach Kane Dewhurst asked me a question that led to me discussing what I believe is the most common and detrimental coach/parent communication in all of tennis...
Watch the video to see my answer :-)
Have a great day,
For most parents, watching children compete in tennis is an extremely emotional experience.
But while all parents can experience significant challenges, some face increased vulnerabilities.
The Biggest Obstacle...
Susceptibility to tennis parenting challenges above and beyond the normal emotional challenges is most linked to a parent’s own learning history in performance domains.
Just like parents powerfully influence their own children’s development through tennis, every parent has a lifetime of experiences that have invisibly contributed to their own development.
These past experiences shape how parents perceive their child’s tennis.
If a parent’s own parents communicated disapproval or conditional love to him in performance domains when he was a child, the sense of disapproval that he felt then will likely later be evoked when he watches his own child perform poorly in tennis.
Through this process (sometimes called...
A great passion of mine throughout my career as a sport psychologist has been supporting parents on the tennis parenting journey.
I quickly formed the opinion early in my career that tennis parents in the organisations that I worked were having more influence on player mental toughness outcomes than coaches.
I also learned that National Organisations, the bodies that should be prioritised supporting parents throughout the tennis parenting journey, do a terrible job in this area.
This contributes to i.) consistent parent and coach overwhelm and helplessness, and ii.) poor competitive habits and common issues with well-being for players.
And while coaches generally do their best to support tennis parents in this challenging role, we typically miss some vital elements in successfully assisting parents...
Why do efforts to support parents often fail?
The reason that efforts to support tennis parents often aren't adequate is that those looking to help simply give parents...
Invest 5min of your day right now in watching this video if you want to become a better coach, tennis parent, or player....
One of the biggest challenges in tennis is effectively committing to processes that increase the chance of success throughout matches rather than getting caught up in the outcome...
In this week's video I'm going to walk you through how I promote player's ability to do this more effectively :-) And if you'd like to access the Competitor's Score Worksheet that I use in this video you can do so here...
Have a great week :-)
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