Mental player

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 11:04 PM | comments: 0

Tonight at tennis I experienced something I haven't seen since my college club volleyball days. I was totally stuck in my head. I couldn't do anything right, because I was over-thinking everything, and mostly thinking about things that had nothing to do with tennis.

It's a classic problem for anyone engaging in an athletic endeavor. I've honestly seen it way more as a coach than as an athlete (because I'm really only good at one sport). I've had kids that melt down after one mistake, and others that have the day of their lives after a parent goes to the hospital, deathly ill. Some people exhibit an amazing toughness, almost machine-like in the way they execute the skills of their game.

Like anything else I do, I do it better when I have awareness. I understand that I forget the little mechanical things that make me more consistent. I see that I'm not getting to a ready position. I know when I'm half-assing the footwork. All of these thing collectively bring me out of the game and into mental town.

I will say that part of it is the instructor for this group class. He talks a lot and we don't get enough repetition. I know from volleyball, after teaching many kids, improvement starts with "muscle memory" and routine. It might be boring, but it works.

I originally wasn't going to do a private lesson this week, but I ran into my instructor on the way out and was like, dude, I need your help.


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