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Mental Coaching: How To Become A Winning Tennis Player

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The two questions I am most often asked are "What is mental coaching?" and "What is mental coaching for?" Here is the answer I have developed over time to answer both: mental coaching is a method of mental training aimed at improving performance and achieving goals through the discovery and development of individual potential. Translated: "coaching" means creating the conditions for learning and growth to occur, and encouraging players to become aware of their own strengths and weaknesses in order to maximize their talent. As a mental coach, therefore, I consider myself a "facilitator of awareness, responsibility and trust," a role that distinguishes itself from that of normal coach. But I am also not exactly a sports psychologist, although sometimes my profession overlaps with both of these roles. A mental coach can work with a single athlete or with a team, with or without the involvement of coaches. A mental coach can even work with athletes at a distance. Even without direct interaction mental coaching can be effective. Athletes can be encouraged to work on themselves through specific exercises and self-assessment, and this will be our goal in this context.

Tennis is a discipline in which there is no direct contact with the opponent, yet the sports is as akin to hand-to-hand combat as any. Nevertheless, many players are afraid of confronting opponents who are more competitive than them, and even before a match they can be inundated by negative thoughts. These thoughts inevitably lead to self-sabotage, because they lead to self-fulfilling prophecies. Our minds are easily tricked into undermining us, and if you keep saying “I don’t think I will beat this guy,” your mind will happily oblige. Indeed, it’s the quickest way to ensuring your defeat.

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