Is your attitude helping or harming you?
Attitude is everything. If I had a dollar for every time I heard this, well, you know the rest. I'd be rich. And yes, being immersed in tennis most of my life in both a professional sense of being a player and a different outlook in being a coach for the last 16 years, I have seen incredibly talented players I have played alongside and coached, and an ongoing theme as to why they aren't improving or winning matches and even giving up the sport entirely comes down to their attitude. Attitude is not subjective. Attitude is exactly what it is. The definition of attitude is 'a learned emotional and behavioural response to a stimulus or situation' - Attitudes are formed through experiences (pleasant or unpleasant). If you have a poor attitude it is for everyone to see, and it doesn't just come out in your game, not just when you miss a ball and then fail to get over that point and then negativity snowballs, it starts off court, it starts when you have either decided to execute your warm up or wanted to sleep in instead. You see, your attitude begins with your choices. The choices you make when no-one is watching, the hard work you do in the dark, always comes to light. In even the most subtle of ways. Ask yourself, do I really want this? And if the answer is "Yes" ask yourself if you believe you are working as hard as you possibly can. Think about the millions of people around the world playing this sport and truely ask yourself, "What am I doing that's going to be the extra mile?" Meaning, those times when you are so tired and the lights at the courts are about to go out but you know if you don't keep practising your serves you won't be prepared for you upcoming tournament or setting your alarm for your run before school because you know that extra bit of fitness could be what wins you your next match. It's deciding to short cut yourself and take the easy path and as the saying goes "if it was easy everyone would be there".
Attitude isn't all about the physicality it's mental. Tennis is very much a mental sport. Over 80% mental in fact. Many professional players, often top 300 hit just as well as the very top players but the thing that differentiates the very top players are a few mental capabilities. ATTITUDE being one of them, how well do they handle the big points (CLUTCH), how well do they handle adversity, (missing an easy shot and positively reflecting and moving on ready for the next point) shot selection, (playing the right shot at the right time) self belief (coming out of adversity, putting in the work and realising you are able to improve and achieve and ultimately win matches) Next time you are playing, ask yourself what habits you have that are counterproductive to your game. Most often there will be little things you can eliminate. Or things you can improve on. Have you packed your tennis bag the night before with everything you need for your match or practise? Have you got a routine before your match that creates a sweat up? Have you got a strategy to play your opponent? Have you been able to study tennis matches? The key is to have routine, have yourself organised, make notes as to what you feel it is you want to improve, both mentally and physically, start with a couple of simple steps and try to improve, both mentally and physically, start with a couple of simple steps and try to improve upon that. Because thats what its all about. One point at a time, positivity and creating small productive habits. Is it okay to show passion on court and become emotional? Yes, you are human. The question is, how well do you bounce back form it. Everyone loses, in every tennis match you lose points, the Rafael Nadal's the Serena Williams', the Federer's lose points in every match, have winners hit against them, double fault but its about their attitude, which in turn creates their behaviours and affects their mental game, and amongst many attributes the big reason as to why they are the best in the world is their ability to continue on with the next point with a positive mental attitude despite the challenges thrown at them. At the end of the day, you have chosen an individual sport, a warrior sport, one on one - its just you out there and you take full accountability for your tennis. That's the beauty of this sport, the work you put in always comes to light and you are the master of your own destiny. Attitude is you.