Wednesday, March 27, 2019

IMPROVING MATCH FOCUS




You would think that Novak Djokovic hardly knows what it's like to lose. After multiple Grand Slam and ATP titles, he must enter each tournament with a high degree of confidence that he will win.  Maybe not!
Last year, 2018, Djokovic was the best player in the world. During the year the combined percentage of points won over all matches he played was 55%!  This was his average for the entire year, which he dominated!

That's a lot of losing for the best player in the world. 

What you have to realize from this surprising statistic is that in tennis you will lose a lot of points, even if you are the better player, as Djokovic was in most cases.

But here's the problem... many players can't handle losing a lot of points!

If you are like most players you probably go through a roller coaster ride with your confidence levels during a match. The momentum in a match can swing back and forth often. It's these momentum swings that test our perseverance and our resolve during matches. 


Obviously Novak Djokovic has learnt how not to let losing 45% of points throughout all matches last year stop him from playing his best tennis for every point, and in every match.


Here's what you need to remember about maintaining your focus during a tennis match...



1,  You're going to lose a lot of points... get over it!

2.  Understand that the nature of tennis scoring means your lead is never secure. You must start each game anew. That's an opportunity for your opponent to come back!

3.  If you are behind in the match...  re-read #2 again one more time!

4. Confidence and self-belief during matches is created in the hours, days and months before you play your match. Don't just prepare technically during your practice sessions, prepare mentally as well by adding stress and decision making to everything you


5.  You have "Time Buffer Zones" within tennis. These are times when you can collect your thoughts, re-assess your tactics and flush out any negativity that might be effecting your performance. 

"Time Buffer Zones" include the time between points, the change of ends and medical time outs. Use them wisely.

Introduce rituals, breathing techniques and visualization during these Time Buffer Zones to re-direct any wayward or negative focus issues.


Working on maintaining a consistent focus may be the missing ingredient to your otherwise great game