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4 Mental tips for tennis players who want success on the court

Updated: May 12

men with mental problems on court

Tennis is more than just hitting balls over the net; it's also about mastering your thoughts and emotions on the court. Whether you're a seasoned player or just starting out, enhancing your mental strength can make a big difference in your performance. Here are four tips to improve your mental game and take your tennis skills to the next level:

1. The 16 Second Cure: Reset Between Points

This method will help you start each point with a plan and a lot of focus. When you play a 90-minute match, you actually only play for 30 minutes, leaving an hour for your thoughts to wander. The 16 seconds between points will help you reset and regain your focus.

Dr. Jim Loehr introduced this concept, called the 16-second cure.

This cure involves four steps:

Step 1: Let go of the previous point and adopt a positive attitude.

Step 2: Take deep breaths and relax.

Step 3: Think and make a choice about how you want to play the next point.

Step 4: Apply your rituals.

These brief moments of concentration and steps can make a world of difference in your mental stability throughout the entire match.

Watch this short video on our Instagram channel for explanation and an example: Link to video

2. Accept Your Mistakes: Embrace the Learning Process

Making mistakes is inevitable in tennis, but it's important to see them as learning opportunities rather than setbacks. By accepting and learning from mistakes, you can improve yourself and elevate your game.

If you don't do this, you'll stall your progress. Even the largest companies and business people embrace their mistakes. For example, Steven Bartlett. During his talk in Sydney, he told us that he hires someone specifically to make "mistakes" and experiment a lot and analyze them. He said; "You learn much more from mistakes than from things that go right the first time. By experimenting, you will make mistakes and therefore learn much faster.

Do you want to know more of this topic? Steven has written 2 books Happy sexy miljonair & The diary of a CEO.

Think about it as a tennis player; what do you learn more from, experimenting and accepting mistakes, or always playing it safe?

3. Focus on 'Set-Up' Points: Play with Sharpness

Identify crucial moments in the match where you can shift momentum in your favor. Imagine it's 30-15 in your favor. At that moment, tell yourself, 'this is a Set-up point'. This point can bring you to a game/break point.

By being aware of these 'set-up' points, you can sharpen your focus and give yourself a boost to win. What often happens is that players don't recognize these important moments, they're caught off guard, and as a result, lose more points.

We often say; he/she was very good at the crucial points. The crucial points are not only the game and break points, but also the points before them!

For a more extensive explanation of this topic, I refer to the book 'Winning Ugly' by Brad Gilbert.

4. Stick with What Works: Maintain Consistency

A common pitfall for tennis players is to change their game when they're ahead. It's important to stick with what works and remain consistent, even when you're leading in the match.

Want to learn more about improving your mental game and achieving consistent results on the court? Consider joining our PROgression-PROgram, where we delve deeper into these mental techniques and much more.

Prepare yourself mentally, step onto the court with confidence, and play your best tennis ever!

Want to know more? In our PROgression-PROgram, there are extensive videos and detailed blogs that delve deeper into the points mentioned above.

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