The “Core Principles”
The Mental Game Of Tennis
Remember that the idea here is to truly get your conscious mind out of the way and turn over your play to your “other than conscious mind.” The conscious mind’s role is limited to focusing on the ball and the breathing.
By programming yourself (by visualization) with these principles, you will be able to quickly and easily get into this state of mind. It just takes practice and discipline.
- Soon I will be able to pay attention and follow the ball all the way to my racket so that I can see the ball spinning. This is Core.
- As I follow the ball to the blur of the racket, I keep my focus on the contact point for a short period of time.This is Core.
- As I learn to pay this kind of attention, I will soon be able to follow the ball and see it spinning to when it contacts my opponent’s racket. This is Core.
- As I become more competent in paying attention to the ball, my breathing will become more natural, and I will learn to be exhaling with a sigh before making contact with the ball and exhaling through and long after contact with the ball. This is Core.
- I finish my follow through on every ground stroke NO MATTER WHAT. This is Core.
- The fingers on my racket are always very relaxed on every shot especially when I make contact with the ball. This is core.
- I move for the ball and hit the ball “knowing” where I want it to go without effort and without judgment. Without judgment means truly letting the ball go where it goes, truly accepting how well I am seeing the ball, truly accepting how well I am breathing, and truly accepting anything else that is happening while I am playing. This is Core.
- I observe my breathing and I watch the ball even in between points. This is Core.
- After missing a ball, if I feel it’s necessary, I immediately visualize or talk to myself about hitting the ball into the court to the spot I would have liked it to go, using a perfect stroke, consciously seeing the ball perfectly, and consciously exhaling before and after contact with the ball. This is Core.
- My conscious mind stays calm and clear and I let my other than conscious mind direct my body to move to where I see the ball coming. This is Core.
- Between points, I sometimes inhale deeply and exhale slowly with a sigh to relax myself and clear my mind. This is Core.
- My strokes are smooth and relaxed through the entire stroke and my grip is very relaxed, especially at the point of contact. This is Core.
- My other than conscious mind is hitting the ball to where it “knows” to hit it while I am consciously seeing the ball and consciously exhaling before and after my hit. This is Core.
- When changing sides (always in tournaments) I sit down, clear my mind, relax my body and, if necessary, reprogram my other than conscious mind to do any of the above. This is Core.
- My other than conscious mind communicates to me any strategy changes to be made. If I am behind in the score, I will use the “wondering technique” This is Core.
- In doing all of the above I am letting my other than conscious mind figure out how to make it happen, rather than trying to force myself to do anything by using my conscious mind. This is Core.