“Mental toughness is essential to success.”
Every time you step on the court, the goal is to play your best. Everyone goes into a match with a “can do” attitude and hope to walk off of the court with a checkmark under the “Win” column. However, any time you’re on the court, battling it out with your opponent, there are going to be times when your mental toughness is tested and your thoughts get the better of you.
In today’s blog post, we’re going to fill you in on three tips that’ll help you stay focused and positive on the court, even when you’re your own worst opponent.
Sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce where you want it to, or you make a mistake that you wish you could take back. It’s in these instances that you can feel your anger levels start to rise. Your thoughts are clouded by fury, and you keep playing and replaying the last volley over and over again in your mind. As a result, your focus is taken off the next point, and instead you’re zoning in on your frustration, and your head’s not in the rest of the match.
The next time you find yourself in this situation, when you start to feel the heat of your anger, take a second to regain your composure, pause for a deep breath, and control your body language. Remember, nothing good will happen from slamming your racquet or paddle off of the court from frustration, plus you’ll be letting your opponent know they’re getting to you. So keep control of your body language and shake it off.
Mind over matter
Sometimes, we’re our own worst enemies. You get inside your own head and psyche yourself out. Rather than fall into this mental trap, keep a positive mindset – positivity is half the battle in winning a match. Throughout the game, keep your thoughts in check and thwart any negativity that tries to break through your mental barrier. Negativity affects your entire body, so not only will it impair your thought process and decision making, it’ll cause you to feel tense and compromise your ability to make a play. Always be aware of your thoughts while playing, and try to turn positive thinking into a habit.
Confidence is key
Being timid won’t get you far on the court. Rather than crumble under pressure, take hold of your confidence and use it as a shield of armor during play. Mental toughness and confidence go hand-in-hand, and both can help you stay level-headed under pressure. A lack of confidence will have you falling prey to negative thoughts, which suck the energy right out of you. Channel your thoughts to be confident and cool under pressure, and you’ll start to see a change in your game.
Positivity during a match is like a muscle. The more that you exercise and use it, the stronger it will become. So take these three tips with you the next time you hit the court.