Achieving your potential as an athlete is the goal of every tennis player. Every tennis player looks for ways to grow as an athlete. Many players attempt to gain an advantage in their physical game. These players spend many hours on strength training, agility training and skill development. These important aspects of training and pushing your body to the limits are valuable to achieve more on the court.
Serena Williams is well-known for her variety of training methods. After all, you don’t win 21 Grand Slam singles titles and achieve a No. 1 world ranking without being dedicated and focused on developing your physical game.
But it is Serena’s mental game that separates her from most WTA players. Serena is gearing up for the U.S. Open and the chance to join the elite group of five tennis players who won all four Grand Slams within one calendar year.
Serena credits her ability to stay focused on the present as a significant factor in her successful career. Serena acknowledges that developing that present-moment focus is not easy but well worth the time and effort.
SERENA: “The toughest thing to accomplish is just to stay in the moment. It’s easy to go out there and say, I want to win, then try to win. But you have to win seven matches [to win a tournament]… It’s not anything that’s super easy, but, you know, you just have to stay in the moment and do your best.”
Tennis players get in trouble when they take their focus off the present moment and start thinking about the outcomes of a match or tournament.
In fact, Serena no longer wants to discuss the possibility of making history by winning the U.S. Open with reporters because she wants to maintain her focus on the present.
SERENA: “You better ask all questions about the Grand Slam now because [that topic] will be banned soon. I’m really nice right now, but sooner or later I have to cut it out because I can’t think about that.”
If the mindset of a champion is to focus on the present, then you need the same mindset if you want to achieve more in the sport of tennis.
Strategy for Focusing on the Present
When heading into a tournament, refuse to buy into those thoughts, “I have to win this match,” “I have to beat this opponent,” “I have to win this match.” When you notice your mind wandering to those mental intrusions, refocus on your match strategy or your strategy for THIS point.
Stay focused on the present; the results will take care of themselves.
Improve your performance in tennis today with one-on-one mental coaching!