How to Practice Zen Tennis
Learn the four mental states of a successful tennis player.Mental fitness is as important as physical fitness in tennis. Focusing on these states and practicing ways to improve your mental focus should form a part of your regular training. The four essential mental states are:
- Concentration - staying in the present
- Commitment - you must maintain both drive and stamina
- Control - not only of the ball and racquet, but also over your emotions and behaviour, including your reaction to bad weather, broken racquets, bad line calls, snapped nets, noisy crowds, etc.
- Confidence - your certain belief that you can manage anything on the court.
Forget about winning.Winning will come from better aligned focus, and getting the basics right. How can you get the basics right if you spend your time focusing on winning the point instead of focusing on hitting the ball?
- Think of your concentration level as a limited bucket. If use up your concentration on trying to win, hitting a winner or the previous point you lost or won, then you have less concentration to spend on hitting that next ball. This leads to more unforced errors.
Forget about what has happened in the previous point and focus on your next shot.Tennis is a short game when you think about it, and many players dwell on how they should have won that last point, what they did wrong, or how to win the next point. This takes away from your concentration bucket and causes more unforced errors.
Focus on hitting the ball.By enjoying each point, and focusing on the enjoyment each strike brings, you will naturally focus on the ball.
- Keep your eye on the ball. This is the key to good tennis, and you will naturally hit better shots.
Change your mindset.Instead of trying to win the point, try thinking about how to make the rally longer. After all, you are here to play tennis and the enjoyment it brings should be at the forefront of the game's purpose. By trying to make the point longer, you will distract yourself from focusing on winning the point, and instead point that focus on hitting the ball correctly. After all, to make the point last longer, you need to hit more balls in, which means you need to focus on the ball and hitting it correctly.
Don't try to always hit the winner.If the opportunity presents itself then take it, but do not force the winner. By looking for winners, you are taking away from your concentration bucket, leaving less for focusing on the ball.
Believe in yourself.When you start losing, don't step back and start playing like a weak player. Know that you have done this before and that you can play at this level. Most of the time you will start to focus on how many points you have lost, and how poorly you are playing. This will take away from your concentration bucket, and leave you with nothing to hit the ball with.
Don't think abouthittingthe ball.Substitute an enjoyment ofguidingthe ball to its desired location. When youguidethe ball, your concentration becomes focused on the ball, rather than on you. Your strokes will become naturally longer with the correct follow through, and power will come when you learn to co-ordinate the ball directly onto the sweet spot. You'll find your stamina is increased as you get less tired hitting the ball, because you are letting the racquet do the work.
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- If it is hard to relinquish the desire to become angry at yourself on the court, remember that winning is the by-product of the enjoyment of tennis, and you will slowly realise if you stop focusing on winning and the mistakes you've made, and start enjoying each stroke, you'll find that thejourneyis the reason you are playing tennis in the first place.
- Always remember to enjoy what you are doing–winning is just a by-product of the enjoyment of tennis.
- Do not hit the ball with power. Stroke the ball with confidence, and the power will come from it.
- Defy your inner corny comedic self and refrain from calling it "zennis." Still, it's your call; it all depends on whether you're playing with understanding friends or people you barely know!
- There are numerous mental and self-esteem benefits of playing tennis. Tennis is a sport that is both social and individual at the same time. This gives you a sense of control over what is happening, while still being part of social interaction. Tennis also helps you to unwind, release tension, remain healthy, learn to win and lose graciously (those who gloat or sulk in tennis are viewed as bad sports), and most of all, to havefun.All of these reasons should be enough to introduce a zen approach into your regular tennis.
Video: Roger Federer on winning, losing & being 'totally Zen'
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Date: 06.12.2018, 15:52 / Views: 35533