I've spent the past week in Marbella and besides work, tennis and meetings, I also had a mental tennis training session with Filippo and Andrea from Mental Tennis.
This mental tennis training session was a follow-up to the mental training sessions over Zoom we had done over the past year. I had experienced great benefit from the sessions and felt I performed much better in match play over all with the tips and tricks from Filippo and his Mental Tennis program. I am a decent tennis player, but my match play is too often ebbing and flowing in between great shots and loose mistakes. This relates well to my mind as my emotions are rarely calm and focused during a match, but often more chaotic.
The state that Filippo tries to instill and teach to his students is that of calm relaxation. Be a warrior, but don't get aggravated and agitated about the match. I have always struggled with this balance. I almost feel like I'm acting ridicolous if I take a match too seriously (whether it's an Open tournament or the club championship). Tennis is supposed to be fun and we should be grateful that we can enjoy the sport, but doubts and poor performances can really disturb this balance.
Mental tennis training
I learned a lot from my session that was in part mental and in part technical. When your body tenses up during points play, it can start doing some strange things on the court. This happened frequently in my session. I played far below what I think is my level because I tightened up and let my mind play tricks on me instead of just hitting the ball and letting my instincts rule.
I think pretty much any tennis player can benefit from putting more attention on the mental side of the sport. It's tough but it can create some significant results.
Check out my podcast with Filippo here or the Mental tennis checklist