Hi, we’re Dr. Anthony Ross, psychologist, and former Pepperdine All-American and Wimbledon competitor; and Pat Flynn, 50+ Australian singles champion and one of the highest rated UTR players for my age in the world, teacher, and tennis parent.
We've created Mentally Tough Tennis because we believe that tennis plays a hugely important role in the promotion of what we call 'healthy mental toughness development.'
Specifically, we believe that tennis can be used as a venue for learning skills that will not only benefit performance in tennis, but also successful and healthy performance off the court as well.
So…our aim is to help you both better understand the challenges that players faces in competition. And if you are a coach or parent, we'd like to help you communicate effectively with your players/child around these issues, so you can optimally support development of mental toughness.
I was lucky enough to be introduced to tennis as a child by my parents in the outback Australian town I grew up in, but my hometown was so small that we didn’t have a resident coach and practice partners were hard to find.
So my early love for tennis grew out hitting balls for hours at a time against one end of our family home.
Eventually my first coach, Ken Hick, arrived in town and despite a serious lack of talent I decided I wanted to be a professional player one day.
Despite my junior rankings being rather unflattering, I kept at it and after working incredibly hard over a number of years I eventually earned a scholarship to Pepperdine University, and became an All-American in 2000. This included compiling the 2nd best combined singles/doubles winning % of legendary USC coach Peter Smith's college coaching career behind only Stevie Johnson.
I also had the chance to travel the world as a professional doubles player for 3 years upon completing college at tournaments including Wimbledon.
When I realised that my desire to make tennis my long term career was not sustainable in 2003, however, I began coaching while still on the tour.
Initially, I learned many tough lessons that taught me that successful coaching was as much about psychology as technical and physical components…And the relative failure of my early coaching efforts showed me that I lacked skill in this area.
So, in short, for the last 15 years I’ve dedicated most of my working life to becoming more skilled in helping players, parents, and coaches regarding the mental components of tennis…
During this time I’ve been privileged to work with many players just starting out on their tennis journey; but also USA singles gold ball winners, Australian national junior champions, Wimbledon junior champions, Junior world #1’s, Australian high school championship winning teams, NCAA team championship winning players, and ATP/WTA tour title winners. I’ve also traveled on the ATP tour with players as they competed against the likes of Federer, Djokovic, and Nadal.
I’ve also mentored many coaches including those of top 10 ATP/WTA players, and coaches from 2 of the 3 most improved Division 1 NCAA men’s teams in 2015: Virginia Tech (VT) and (TCU), as well as North Carolina in 2020.
And as a researcher I’ve spent several years exploring the parental influence on the development of mental toughness in tennis. This research has included a collaboration with Tennis Australia in which I developed and completed a parent education program that has been empirically shown to benefit children’s competitive responses.
Hi, I’m Pat Flynn. As a junior I was the Australian Junior Tennis Champion and went on to earn a scholarship at the University of Texas, Austin. After my college career I went on to play professionally, reaching 390 in the world and winning the Queensland Hardcourt Championships.
After my playing career, I coached both on the professional tour and as a Tennis Australia state coach.
More recently, my love of the game drew me back to competing, resulting in me becoming the Australian 50+ Seniors Champion and recently I became one of the oldest players in the world to qualify for a Pro Tour Event, defeating a world ranked player in the process.
Throughout this journey, I have had a passion for the importance of the mental parts of the game and how it can positively influence our lives both on and off the court.
This passion later led me to seek out Anthony and undergo his MTT training and become a certified Mentally Tough Tennis Performance Consultant.
Our Hope For You…
So much of our lives has been dominated by tennis… and looking back now on the huge part that tennis has played in our lives since we were kids we’re very thankful.
It’s given us the opportunity to travel the world first as players, then as a coach and psychologist, doing what we love most.
And just like it’ll do for you or your players/child, improving our competitive effectiveness in tennis taught us skills that have helped us to pursue other interests with confidence as well.
We very much hope you can say the same when you look back on your/your child's involvement in the game…
Enjoy the site and best of luck!