Tennis is a complex game that is played both physically and mentally. Unlike many sports tennis is mostly a game for the individual (apart from doubles) so there are no colleagues to encourage you or to cover for you when you have a bad day.
Most of the pro’s either win or lose depending on their frame of mind, and to some extent it is the same for the amateur player. Once you have learned the technique and all the shots, the main blockage to you succeeding is your state of mind.
There are three main phases that most players need to address to progress in tennis, and these are all mental.
The Three Phases
The three phases of mental development are: Pre-self-consciousness, Self-awareness, and Unconscious.
This is related to having no fear, not being aware of the possibility of actually missing a shot and just playing relaxed and naturally. Everything is natural, and it is the perfect mindset to bring out the best in you.
But as you grow older then a state of self-awareness creeps into your head and plays with your confidence.
This phase is probably the most common stage for the average player to play their tennis in. Players spend most of their time struggling with their mind and controlling their emotions to enable them to play as natural a game as possible.
This does not mean you go around half asleep most of the time. What it means is that you play naturally without thoughts of failure dragging you down. It is going back to the first stage almost and playing with abandonment.
A great deal of players do struggle with this concept of setting aside their conscious and playing freely. Technical and tactical control still dominates and players are scared to let it go.
To embrace the third stage of your development the key factor is that you are not afraid of losing. Mistakes are part and parcel of the game, even the best players in the world lose points, games and matches. So as soon as you accept this then the sooner you are on the way to grasping the third phase.
Perhaps a way to get to this stage is to think back when you were young and achieved a milestone task. Maybe it was learning to ride your first bike or running for the first time. The betting is you probably don’t remember anything, only trying again and again before you grasped how to do it. In the end you probably surrendered trying and it all came naturally.
Really the best way of getting over these obstacles is by playing as many games as you possibly can. Try to get back to the very first phase, when you swung and hit the ball naturally without consideration to the consequences. So book a court at your local club today, and get down a play.