What are the top 5 characteristics of a mentally tough player?
One, Typically, they are able to concentrate and focus very well. These characteristics allow them to cut
down on their errors as well as execute winning plays efficiently and accurately.
Two, they are extremely competitive people. They do not like to lose at anything and they will fight
for every little advantage which they can gain.
Three, they have courage under fire. In the really big moments, they exhibit an innate belief in their
abilities and their chances to succeed.
Four, they play with a level of intensity in which they play every point one at a time. And, they
expect to win every point no matter whom they are playing.
Five, they are great at analyzing the game and will match up their strengths and weaknesses versus
their opponent’s to put themselves in the most advantageous positions to win.
How do players become mentally tough?
Some people are lucky enough to be born with these characteristics. For most players, these
characteristics must be developed over time. While there are many different paths to the same end
result of mental toughness, the key is to find which approach works for each individual player.
One method is to focus on function over the desired win result. If the player ensures watching the ball,
aiming their shot, hitting their targets, reacting well to the struck ball then the win result will
happen as an afterthought.
A second method would be to try to establish match momentum. After winning a point, the next goal would
be to try to win two in a row and so forth. Such mental games or races could be used to get the momentum
rolling toward a victory.
A third technique would be to be neurotic in your approach to the game. You always want to do the same
things over and over and to be consumed in the process of being perfect. Hence, the reason for Rafael Nadal
always placing his water bottles in the same place or picking his underwear as a ritual before each point.
Just be careful as to which rituals you choose!
How can one prepare themselves on the tennis court to be mentally tough?
One, set simple goals and tests, and practice to achieve them. For instance, you could try to rally and
hit 30 balls in a row or you could try to get 21 out of 30 first serves in (70%).
Two, you could work to achieve a superior level of tennis fitness. As your fitness level peaks, you will
perform better, you will make the game easier, and your confidence will grow. Furthermore, you will
achieve a belief that you deserve the match win more than your opponent based on your hard work.
Three, face and fix your problem areas rather than avoid them. For instance, if you have trouble putting
away your volleys, spend twenty minutes each practice playing out the approach volley combo. As your
efficiency improves, so too will your ability to perform in a match situation.
Four, exhibit a short term memory. If you lose a point, game, or match, move on. You must believe that you
will win the next one and be determined to do so no matter what past history indicates.
We hope this information helps as you prepare yourself to be mentally tough for tennis. Mental
toughness, attitude, effort, emotional control are all important qualities which must be addressed in
every practice or match whether stated or implicitly implied by each individual player and tennis coach. For more sports tips and videos visit ComProSports.com.