The Mental Game: Nothing New!

This week’s question came from a Seaside competitor who had trouble coping with match pressure. I was a set up with a break in the second and I couldn’t close the match out! Why??�

Too often we focus on the ‘finish line’ and forget the journey that get’s there! Very often, we stop playing the game that got us in a winning position, try to protect the lead, and end up playing not to lose!

Sometime ago I read a book called ‘Awareness” by Anthony De Mello.  Summarising from the book: .

“…. When you compete, or do anything of consequence, you will perform best by staying in the moment and enjoying the process.

This concept is age-old. Chuang Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher from the 4th century BC, wrote:

“When an archer is shooting for nothing, he has all his skill.
If he shoots for a brass buckle, he is already nervous.
If he shoots for a prize of gold, he goes blind or sees two targets.
He is out of his mind. His skill has not changed.
But the prize divides him. He cares. He thinks more of winning than of shooting.
And the need to win drains him of power.”

An effective approach is to just be grateful for the opportunity to play tennis, to compete, recognizing that many are unable to do so because of physical, injury, or other limitations.

Try to enjoy the game, and the benefits/results will follow.

And above all, don’t change your winning game!

Good luck,