One of the aspects that are always mentioned while talking about champions is confidence. This mental ability has a big influence on physical performance and the level of confidence is responsible for the good or bad quality of their own game. However, is it possible to build self-confidence, or is it a skill that only a few people were born with?
Good performance in tennis consists of various skills. Top players understand that to compete effectively at the highest level they have to work every day on different aspects to allow their body and mind to deal with the demands of a competitive environment. Unfortunately, at lower levels many players don’t pay enough attention to the mental aspects of the game and they spend definitely too much time focusing on the racket forgetting that improper mental state will change even the best forehand into weakness.
A lot of players believe that with success comes confidence. That is mostly true because when we lift the trophy we believe that we can repeat this achievement the next day. However, confidence shouldn’t be related just to on-court results because we don’t play tournaments every week as also it is really hard to win all the matches week by week. Players, who think about being conscious and confident athletes, have to work on this skill every day both on and off the court because with quality repetitions will come the skill that is responsible for much more than just a positive state of mind.
Why is it important to get confidence? Confident players believe in themselves so there is no doubt in their actions. Additionally, they feel significantly less pressure while facing challenges because they know that they are able to deal with these specific demands. Also, confidence helps with finding solutions during difficult situations and controlling emotions after some mistakes so in the heat of the competitive battle these factors can decide about the final result of the match.
Confidence is a skill like any other. When players consciously work on it, the skill will get better. Here are a few methods that players can use to control their own level of confidence and become more successful with all the activities they do to improve as tennis players:
- Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses
Confidence is connected with awareness. Player can’t be confident if he doesn’t have a weapon to hurt the opponent or if he has many weaknesses that the opponent will try to capitalize on. Being aware of own skills and working on them every day will not only take the technical level up but it will also increase the level of confidence.
- Analyze your progress
Every training session provides feedback to players however players have the option to use it or not. Confidence is built on improvements so it is a worthy move to analyze every training session and be aware of improvements that happened. Taking a few minutes and writing down technical, tactical, physical and mental progress will help the player to understand how they develop but at the same time, this valuable information can be used to set up goals for the next session.
- Stay in a positive environment
Your coach, friends, and the closest environment have a great influence on your actions and thoughts. The more positive they are the bigger chance you will also be positive and confident. It is important to understand how other people react to different situations and make sure that we either change our reactions when they are negative or we change friends who can have a negative impact on our level of confidence and well-being.
- Surround your life with confidence
The human brain works quite simple. The more often we hear or see something, the stronger we believe in it. It is useful to implement this process into building self-confidence every day no matter if we are practicing on the court or just resting at home. Put pictures on the wall with confident quotes, add your picture with the trophy on the screen of your phone or download specific app that will send you motivational tips every day. In this case, it is all about quantity so make sure you have enough confidence around you.
There is no doubt that for many athletes confidence is the number one mental skill that they want to possess. It offers many benefits both in personal and athletic life so players should learn how to make conscious steps every day to build and maintain solid confidence. There are internal and external factors that have an impact on confidence so being aware of them and taking care of these under our control is a proven recipe to become a confident and successful tennis player.