What does it mean to believe in yourself? When you believe in yourself, you have complete confidence in your physical skills and in your ability to take shots in tennis. My definition of confidence for tennis is how strongly you believe in your ability to execute a successful shot or win a match. Don’t confuse believe in yourself (self-confidence) with self-esteem. Self-esteem is about how you see yourself and how you value your self-concept (how you see yourself), also called self-esteem.
The Tennis Mental Toughness Checklist
Self-confidence stems from the baseline of past success in matches, training, preparation, and the mental game of tennis. For example, the early tennis player had little or no confidence in his ability to serve in tennis. But with practice, he became competent in service skills. With increased competence or skill mastery confidence. You can also gain confidence from the belief that you are physically gifted, which reflects the definition of confidence.
When working with my personal training students, I discuss two different types or levels of confidence. The first is a general or broad belief in your abilities as a tennis player – the feeling that you can win or do well. The second type of self-confidence is a specific belief in your ability to hit a successful overhead or hit a winning streak. Broad and specific beliefs are just as important and they influence each other.
During my 20 plus years as a mental games coach, I have come to know that many athletes have “confidence training,” which comes from working hard on training to develop your skills. However, these same athletes have not always transferred that confidence from training to match play. They don’t have what I call a “confidence tournament,” for various reasons. Confidence matches or tournaments are very important to your success in the match.
Tennis Confidence Report
It seems irrational that you can gain a high level of confidence in your training, but not transfer that confidence to tournaments. Most of the time, this problem is due to mental play getting in the way and how you practice, which I will cover in another article.
One of my readers recently asked this tennis psychology question: “What’s a checklist for gaining confidence before a tough match?” I don’t have a simple answer to this question because every player reacts differently to a difficult match. However, I’m going to give you the top four strategies every player should implement:
1. Check your expectations in the parking lot. I believe that expectations (the demands that you place on your game) are dangerous to high self-esteem. You want to believe in your skills and training, but without demanding how the match should go.
2. Review the reasons why you deserve to do well before each match. You may default to your practice, your experience, or your superior talent.
3. Prepare five positive self-talk statements that you can use between points when you need a confidence boost. These statements can be as simple as “I deserved to do well today.”
4. Cut last minute doubts. Doubt is the opposite of self-confidence. When you engage in doubt and allow it to feast on your mind, you are confident in suffering. Acknowledge any pre-match doubts you have and practice debunking your own doubts.