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Tennis Mental Training is Just Like Tennis Fitness Training

Aug 21, 2008
Why tennis mental training?

You've got great looking shots and you can run all day!

You are now all set to win lots of tennis matches right?


It's always too difficult to concentrate, you never play the way you practice and your opponents always control the match.

Things just don't work out and getting angry makes things worse.

You know that this is a mental problem but........

You understand the basics of how and why physical training can aid performance, but you are nowhere near as sure about what to do in terms of your tennis mental training.

You know it's important but don't know where to start with putting tennis psychology into your game without complicating it.

Well, tennis mental training is just like tennis fitness training. It has many areas that are important but there are four that stand out as being more important than the others.

Let's look at them!

Tennis Mental Training vs Tennis Fitness Training

Just like your physical fitness, your tennis mental fitness has four critical components - strength, flexibility, speed and agility.


Just as physical fitness is about your ability to provide a strong resistance to outside forces (i.e. the weight you are trying to lift), tennis mental strength is about you being able to provide strong resistance under sometimes high levels of emotional pressure.


Good physical flexibility allows you to get into many different positions (quickly) to react to what your opponent throws at you, the more mentally flexible you can get will allow you to do the same in a mental sense.

Physical flexibility is all about increasing your range of motion around a joint and mental flexibility is all about increasing your control over a range of emotions around your game.


Speed on the court is essential if you want to a) get to lots of balls and b) recover in order to get to the following balls.

Mental speed is needed to mentally move along at pace with the game.

If you are mentally slow then you can never react in time to what is needed on the court at any given time, never mind react and respond to a chain of events.


Physical agility is the ability to move, stop & change direction at speed without losing control.

Often this requires recovering from "negative" situations such as when you lose balance.

The same can be said of your mental agility.

The game of tennis requires you to negotiate a wide range of emotional barriers not all of which are easy. In fact it is often the ability to stay "mentally balanced" in times of relative disappointment that separates the champions from the "others" and is therefore a vital part of the "Champions mentality" I often speak about.

There was no greater example of these skills in action than in the "Greatest Tennis Match Ever" - this years' Wimbledon Men's final where both Federer and Nadal showed their ability to bounce back from many disappointments and mistakes whilst still keeping themselves highly focused, aggressive and ultimately highly competitive.

In fact the greatest match ever showed possibly the greatest array of mental skills ever - a coincidence??

I think not!!
About the Author
Paul Gold is a registered Licensed Tennis Coach. He has a Masters degree in Sports Sciences and is a Performance Enhancement Specialist and Speed Agility Quickness trainer. Get your FREE Top 10 Tennis Training Tips at http://www.tennis-training-central.com/tennistrainingtips.html
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