Fix Tennis Confidence
(Tennis article by Randy Lynn Rutledge - a former USPTA tennis teaching professional)
Skill improvement leads to tennis self-confidence
Manage your expectations. Set realistic goals. Expect to make, but plan to fix, tennis mistakes. Reward your successes, no matter what their size, with positive self-talk. In tennis, like in other parts of life, the more you do the more you can do.
Plan Your Tennis Program for Progressive Improvement
Tennis self-confidence comes from knowing that you will play good because your strokes and hits are solid, you read your opponent well, you formulate tactical strategies based on what you and your opponent are doing, and your mental and physical conditioning have prepared you to be quick and sharply focused.
Skill improvement involves identifying tennis problem areas, formulating plans to fix each tennis tennis problem, executing each plan, and modifying plans as needed. Just having a plan will not help your tennis game. I like to use an analogy in which I express to my students that, “Owning a jump rope (your tennis improvement plan) does not get you into better shape. You must use the jump rope, appropriately.”
Give Recognition to Your Gradual Successes
There are many factors which you can focus on to steadily make progress in your goal of building up your self-confidence for tennis match play. Expect and allow every gain in each area of a well planned tennis improvement program to increase your tennis self-confidence.
Take Risks to Realize Your Full Potential
Realizing your full potential in tennis does not come without the taking of certain risks. Think of some tennis skill that you do not know how to do and learn to do it well. The process of learning a new skill will involve making mistakes, learning why the mistakes happen, and problem-solving to eliminate the causes.
Every time a new skill has successfully been added to your tennis playing ability, think of other skills you can add.
Make Corrections For Your Mistakes Or Errors
Expect to have setbacks and make mistakes. You need to make mistakes before you can formulate a plan to make corrections; however, strive to gradually master the skills required to reduce the number of mistakes you are making. Always find your biggest weakness and understand why it happens. The fastest way to realize improvement in your tennis ability is to turn your weaknesses into your strengths.
Teach Your Newly Acquired Tennis Skills To Another Player
Try teaching your newest tennis skill to another tennis player. The process of having to teach the skill to another player will help you to fully understand the new skill. Seeing another player make some of the same mistakes that you were making will go a long way toward supplying pictures for you to over-learn the behaviors required to own the new skill.
Make Time for Fun and Experimental Hitting Sessions
Find a fun person to share some experimental hitting sessions with you. These can be after a weekly tennis match. Tennis is a game, so relax and play like children (smile, laugh, and have a good time). These sessions have nothing to do with competition, and no score keeping is allowed. You and another tennis risk-taker are simply going to experiment with trying to hit the tennis ball in ways you have never tried before, just to see what happens. Maybe you can find something that you can add to your existing tennis arsenal.
Steadily Improve Your Tennis Ability and Your Entire Life
A few factors to progressively help increase your self-confidence are purposeful mental and physical toughness practice sessions, stroke and hit drill sessions, match experiences against worthy opponents, diet improvements, restful sleep, and existing in a healthier living environment.
Set Realistic Tennis Goals
Set incremental tennis goals for more immediate successes. Self-confidence grows when each goal is realized. Gradually set higher goals with a firm sense of knowing that you can achieve any goal you set for yourself.
Expect Every Improvement to Make Everything Else Easier
In tennis, just like in other parts of your life, the more you do the more you can do. All of the little successes of your tennis improvement program will steadily transform you into a more self-confident tennis player. Successful execution in all phases of preparation will help you to develop a KNOWING that you have a very good chance to win the last point of your tennis matches.