Have you ever wondered what to do when you have emotions at the game of tennis, and therefore feel that you are keeping away from performance? The mental side has a great influence on the results of tennis. If we look at the great tennis players, we can see that many of them have the same technical or physical skills, but only a few of them are able to consistently win matches. What makes the difference between them?
At all levels of the game, having strong mental skills is a great advantage, so all players should strive to learn about them and make an effort to get them.
There is no doubt that the lack of emotional control can make even advanced players lose the match. It doesn't matter if you know how to play in advance or you can run for two consecutive hours, because if you let your emotions play a vital role on the field, you will never get the results you want. The mind decides on the actions taken, so mental training should be included in the weekly schedule to ensure visible improvement and good results.
Watching matches during tournaments is a great opportunity to discover different aspects that each player can improve in their performance. From technical aspects to mental skills, if we pay attention to details, we can get valuable information for the next practice session.
One of the areas that many players struggle with is emotional control. They are able to play very well and suddenly, after a slight mistake, their performance decreases significantly, so they lose five or six games in a row. It has nothing to do with the loss of technical or tactical skills - the reason for falls is that the player's mind is controlled by emotions.
Every player is different, as are their emotional reactions. However, all players should work on emotional control to ensure that their reactions will not be responsible for losing crucial points. Sometimes one or two points in the match decide the winner, so players should not allow their emotions to take the lead. Players need to understand that they can control their emotions, but they need to do so consciously, using specific techniques available.
1. Be aware of your emotional side
It is impossible to work on something we are not aware of. To play well, you need to make sure you understand when you make the wrong tactical decisions and also when negative emotions happen. Every time you get angry, frustrated or demotivated, you need to know that it is time to apply specific knowledge.
2. Use the time you have at maximum
One of the biggest mistakes players make while not controlling their emotions is rushing. The process is quite simple - they make a mistake, get angry and immediately go to the baseline to play another point. If you want to control your emotions and play better, you need to take advantage of the time available between points and games to let your mind be in optimal condition.
One of the best ways to keep your emotions under control is to breathe. Breathing is a natural process necessary to live, but athletes do not always use the most efficient way of breathing. When you get angry or stressed, the human body tends to breathe less and faster. This does not help to get rid of emotions. To calm down and stay more relaxed, players should apply a slow breathing technique to adjust the rhythm of inspiration and expiration of air and to gain control over their mind and body.
4. Practice emotional control regularly
You can't have a great service if you practice it once a week. The same approach works for emotional control. Every situation in our lives creates our response and is often based on emotions. Therefore, being consistent with conscious practice both on and off the field is the best way to get visible results.
Tennis is certainly among the sports in which the mental aspect is a crucial feature of the champions. However, not many players know and want to improve emotional control using specific techniques. It is important to understand that without solid mental skills, even the best will not function as expected. Players who can control what happens in their head will also be able to control what happens during the match.