Fix Visual Input to Your Tennis Mind
(Tennis article by Randy Lynn Rutledge - a former USPTA tennis teaching professional)
This article describes the process of allowing tennis to happen.
Have you ever felt victimized because one of your regular tennis opponents had such a good tennis day that none of your usual ways of beating them would work? It is as if they could do no wrong. Your tennis game has always beaten their tennis game, until this phenomenon took place. You had never before witnessed them playing at a level so far above what is normal for them.
It is so easy to assure ourselves that the person played “out of their mind,” “out of their league,” or that they just got lucky. Actually, what happened was that something “clicked” or “fell into place” for that person without them doing anything to make it happen.
Probably, a lack of trying so hard allowed the person to relax and “get out of their own way” just enough to let tennis happen as it should have been happening all along. Their caring too much is what was keeping them from playing tennis up to their true potential.
Typically, a player will not reach his or her full tennis playing potential until there is a reduction of worrying about what just happened or what might happen next in the match. Actually it is a reduced rate of worrying about the past and the future which can free a tennis player up mentally so that they are better able to function in the present moment.
Being more available (mentally) in the present moment to pay attention to what IS happening allows a player to trust more in their tennis abilities. No matter what we choose to do in life, we can increase the quality of the outcome of any task by paying better attention to what is happening in the present moment.
A reduction of worry can allow a tennis player to participate more fully in the action of the present moment. Pay full attention, especially visually, to performing in the present moment to master the task at hand so that an increased level of play can be realized.
When the tennis ball is in play, trust your abilities more, breathe to stay relaxed, and focus your vision on the things of the present moment to focus your mind in the present moment. Your biggest chore for tennis improvement is to learn to free up your mind to pay better attention to the input being received from the eyes, and to train your eyes to increase the quality of visual input being sent to the brain for processing. Vision is where your greatest potential for improvement lies.