In league tennis, you play matches against same-rated players with similar skills. However, there is one thing that can give you the advantage, and that is mental toughness.
Naomi Osaka’s loss against Kateřina Siniaková was a prime example of the importance of a positive mindset on the court. As badly as she wanted the win, she let her errors get under her skin. Her body language expressed utter frustration and Kateřina saw it, and took full advantage. Though Kateřina won the match, it was Naomi that ended up beating herself.
Don’t let a negative mindset cost you the match. Here are some quick tips to help keep you mentally in the game:
- Leave your problems at home. Thinking about them during your match won’t make them go away; it will only create new problems, but this time, with your match.
- Think about one point at a time. That’s all you can play.
- Don’t focus on past errors, focus on the solutions.
- Take more time between points come up with those solutions and recover from the previous point. You have 20 seconds between points–use them.
- Maintain positive body language. Negative body language shows your opponent that you are more focused on losing than winning, and they will take advantage of that.
- Don’t berate yourself for every mistake, pump yourself up. You wouldn’t want someone calling you names from the sidelines, so don’t do it to yourself on the court.
Take these tips to heart, and you’ll not only play better, but you’ll feel better about yourself and your game, whether you win or lose!