About Mental Tennis Leaping

We all have been programmed by others or by ourselves unconsciously.

Then after we hear something over and over again, our subconscious mind starts accepting it.

And never challenging it.

So now you will have to lose that fault self concept, that has been created and sold to you, by leaping over it mentally.

Decide that from today, you are not going to let anyone’s opinion of you or your mental game, determine your results in matches.

This is what it really boils down to, the sad fact is most tennis players never do this and they accept what has been taught to them as fact, which is crazy, it takes courage to make this MENTAL LEAP.

Which is why most tennis players never do it.

Never forget that your friends and sometime relatives are going to try to hold you back, and that’s just a part of life, but stand up for yourself and believe that you were made for more, because you were!

It’s time for a mental leap!!

Ask yourself questions that make you think and don’t accept anything by others or yourself, without questioning it!!

This starts with you as a player.

You must create the mental image of the players that you want to become in your mind, then start acting and playing like you are already that player.

Then getting in tune with that image.

Be brave enough to act even when you are afraid on court, have faith in your mental game.

The mental leap is having faith in yourself, when no one else does.

Very few players are able to do this and what happens is this, ,

They never reach their full potential as players.

One time my high school coach told us this, ,

Tennis will reveal and then build character, but only if the player is willing to put forth the mental effort, to make it happen.

That statement is so true!!

And that’s a very important thing to keep in mind, when making this psychological leap with your tennis game.

Everything is mental in sports and in life and the more you face your fears with courage, the more you will feel mentally powerful.

Why?

Because when you face fears, you control them, and when you avoid them, they control YOU!!

Fear can and is holding millions of tennis players back as I write this article, and that is why I’m asking you here today, to make the mental leap by jumping over your fears.

Good luck my friend!!

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Post Up Tennis Goals

Most junior players don’t reach their tennis goals because they are not posted up and in blindsight, for them to look at.

Out of sight, out of mind, is real, let me tell you.

Post up all of your goals somewhere that, you can look at them daily and meditate on them, to give you better focus and concentration.

A great time for doing this is in the morning and then one more time in the evening before going to bed.

Soak it in as best as you can and form a clear picture of yourself reaching your targets and doing it in your mind.

All things are created mentally first, so if you can’t see it, you can’t reach it.

By posting your goals up in your room.

You will unconsciously activate your subconscious mind.

And it will start attracting certain people, coaches, and things into your life, that will help you achieve your goals.

“Your goal with doing this is to make yourself a living magnet for what you want and stop pushing it away”.

Yes, you need to want to reach your goal bad and yes, you will need to put in the work on the court.

But, you can’t be sending out the wrong energy while doing it (like most players do) and I think, this is why they don’t reach their goals.

They push away the exact thing that they want, by working for one thing, but expecting something else.

The power of expectation is what really counts here because what you expect from your efforts will determine how well you perform on the court.

You should never go into a tennis match, feeling like you can’t beat another player.

Winning in your mind is 85% of the mental battle and never forget that tennis is all mental.

We are in June right now, so you need to get serious and think about this.

How many of your goals have you reached this year?

How many are posted up?

Your answer will determine your results.

Good luck guys!!

Tennis Juniors Turning Pro

Let’s get right into this important information, because I value your time and I know you guys are busy with your schedules.

I used to teach tennis in japan and I saw many players go pro and then just mentally give up on themselves after a few years.

So, today I’ll give you a blueprint to follow and you can then adopt and adapt it for your playing career.

The main goal for every junior should be to get a tennis scholarship and then see how far they can take their competitive career from there.

They should not be thinking about turning pro at all.

Now of course they can make that a goal or a dream.

I have no problems with them doing that, but first things first, get that tennis scholarship.

There are more than 700 college tennis coaches looking for tennis players every year that can come into their programs and make them better.

So if you have the talent and want it bad enough, there is a tennis scholarship out there waiting for you.

I always use John McEnroe as an example, when I’m trying to drive home this point to kids and parents.

“John first went to college and still played in some pro tournaments, then he won the NCAA title and after that, when he saw that staying in school wouldn’t help advance his career and that he was mentally ready to go pro, he left and the rest is history.”

All tennis junior players should have a goal to get a tennis scholarship.

That means some juniors could stay for 3 or 4 years and get their degree, which is even better for their future security.

Again, there are a few exceptions to the rule!!

But here are the facts.

The majority of junior players will be late boomers, “They won’t get a feel for the game and their mental game until the age of 24 or older!!!

Hope that information there can help some of you guys.

Please be sure to like and share!!

And best of luck to you guys too!!

Tips For Serving In Matches

Set your own tempo and rhythm.

You need to always serve at your own tempo and pace.

Which means.

Never allow your opponent to dictate the tempo on your service games.

Start your motion on your own terms.

Never start serving until you have mentally recovered from the last point.

If you feel any carryover effect.

Step away from the baseline and breathe deeply for 3 times and start your pre-serve routine again.

This will help you set and maintain a good rhythm for your service games.

Never rush through your motion.

This is a very important point when serving.

You should never feel like you are rushing before or during your service motion.

Your body needs to be relaxed and your mind should be picturing one fluid service motion.

Again, if you are feeling nervous at any time before you start your service motion.

Step away from the line and repeat the above suggestions I just gave YOU.

Then start your pre-service routine over again.

At the junior level.

Head Tennis Coaches

Develop The Vision.

It all starts with you getting a clear vision of what type of tennis program, that you want to build.

Picture in your mind, how you want your program to look in 3 years and then in 6 years, down the road.

Your vision plan for your program, should be written out and then posted up in your office.

Set Team Goals.

At the start of every season, set team goals together with your team.

Ask them to take part in the planning and come up with some ideas for your goals for that season.

Never lower your goals either.

Instead push them to dig deeper and reach those goals.

Many coaches set goals, then during the season, they lower them for the players and this is the wrong move to take by coaches.

You job is to push them into their greatness and the only way to do that is to, help them develop grit in themselves!

Coach With Passion.

The more passionate you are about the game, the better results your team will get from your coaching.

My best tennis coaches were all passionate about the game.

There is real authentic power in coaching with passion.

It’s so contagious, that many of them will over achieve in their careers with you.

I would make that my main coaching theme for every team.

Bring passion to practice and bring even more passion to your team matches.

The main goal is to have fun with your team!

Thrill in Olympic Swimming

In Olympic Swimming, one would actually feel the tension in the air. The swimmers are very competitive and are committed to a win. And the audiences are correspondingly cheering hard for their representatives. One can expect thrilling Olympic Swimming events that can take your breath away. It is just too exciting to watch, and having so many people around having their own swimmers, will more than quadruple the fun.

What is more interesting now with Olympic Swimming is the addition of the Open Water Races. There will be the 10K open water races for both men and women divisions. These are very interesting additions as considered by many – but a welcomed one at that.

The addition of the Open Water Races in Olympic Swimming would add a variety to the swimming competition. Many believe that Europeans are well to dominate this category, but others will not come in without a good fight. Definitely, Olympic Swimming is able to put more excitement with their array of competitions in the field.

Serves Gone Wild

On your serve, did the ball touch the net, the center strap or top tape before hitting the opponent? If so, the ball is considered a let. Why? Because for the ball to be considered out, it has to hit some part of the court after it touches the net, center strap or top tape or net cord.

If it did not touch the net or any part of the fixed court (posts, singles sticks, etc), did the ball cross the net and hit the ground in the correct service box BEFORE it hit your opponent? If the serve was good and the ball hits the opponent receiver or opponent partner, the point is yours.

If the serve did not land in the correct service box, THEN hit your opponent receiver or opponent partner, then the ball was considered out of play (or dead) before it hit the player. If this is the case, you can start your second serve. If that was your second serve, you lose the point and begin your next serve.

IF the ball hit your opponent BEFORE it hit the ground or net, the point is yours. After the ball crosses the net, it needs to hit hit the ground before it is determined to be “out” or “in”. If the opposing players prevent the ball from hitting the ground first, they lose the point and you win the point. It is not so much as the opposing players PREVENT the ball from hitting the ground first as much as they just could not get out of the way of the ball fast enough.

It is odd but if you hit your opponent with the ball, you win the point. Maybe that is why so many players try to hit their opponents.

See you on the courts!

Freestyle Stroke Continuum

ELEMENTS OF THE STROKE:

BALANCE: freestyle is swam from side to side, rotating around a central axis which remains stable. Shifting sides means that you will be forcing your core muscles to balance your body so you can apply more force with your extremities. This core balance also allows us to engage more muscles and create more power on each rotation of the stroke. Here are drills to work on core stabilization and rotation:

-Side kick with one arm up front and the other arm on your side, keep the head in a neutral position and your chest facing the wall.

-Side kick with both arms down. Same concept but more challenging.

-Side kick with both arms to the side and rotating every six counts. This will challenge you to keep control of your body as you turn from side to side.

-Dryland: planks in all positions are a great way to activate core muscles.

FLEXIBILITY: the greater range of motion, the easier it will be to achieve greater distance per stroke and better angles to apply force. The shoulders are a special area of concern so emphasis on increasing mobility around this ball and socket joint should be a priority. While kids will have an easier time developing range of motion, every healthy adult has the capacity to do it.

Another necessary element is the ability to plantarflex the ankle joint which means to point your toes without discomfort. Runners in particular have a hard time pointing their toes in the water due to the imbalance in range of motion created by the amount of dorsiflexion while running. Ankle flexibility is key to allow for kicking to propel the body forward instead of holding the body hostage by working as an anchor.

Finally, the ability to press the chest and achieve a long, extended position will allow for greater distance per stroke and capacity for greater core involvement. Working on flexibility and joint mobility is not only beneficial it is necessary in order to achieve correct biomechanics. Yoga and other flexibility programs are very useful for swimmers. In our Wellfit Swim Class, fellow coach and Yoga Instructor Keith Keblacha has designed an specific yoga routine that works on all these key areas.

COORDINATION: this can also be thought as timing. If one arm is trying to surge forward, wouldn’t it make sense that the other should be pushing back? What about the legs, timing a set of beats per stroke is necessary to establish a rhythmic pattern. Depending whether the swimmer is sprinting, swimming a 200 or a mile the ratio of kicking per stroke usually falls between 6 to 2 kicks per each armstroke. Not having a rhythmic pattern makes the swimmer feel off and limits is potential for a good propulsion. Great drills to develop coordination are the catch up stroke and kicking drills that incorporate armstroke such as the overkick and counting to 6 before every stroke. Breathing to both side will also encourage the body to be coordinated and balanced on both sides.

POWER: this last element is all about acceleration. How much water can you move in the least amount of time?. Or to be more precise how far and how fast can you propel your body forward with each stroke?. If a swimmer tries to work on acceleration without developing proper biomechanics or first then the outcome will be wasting energy. It will as if we were trying to pedal as fast as possible on a bicycle with the wrong gear. It can also put pressure in the wrong places and develop injuries. Power should be developed as the last piece of the puzzle but a must have none the least in order to achieve fast swimming. Here is one of my favorite drills that work on acceleration:

-Zero acceleration drill: this is a modification of the hyperextension drill (you can see this drill on the Video section of chicagotrainer.net). It involves catching the water up front and pushing it back with as much power as possible and then letting the stroke glide up front. Glide on each side until you achieve zero momentum (zero acceleration) and then take the next stroke and repeat. This will allow you to see how much power are you indeed capable of producing with each armstroke. The key is to decrease the momentum on each glide to force the swimmer to start from zero and produce maximum rapid force each time.

Another way to improve power is through a dryland program that puts emphasis on applying power to a biomechanically correct freestyle pattern with the help of bands. In our Wellfit class we teach swimmers to breakdown movements and then put them together as a whole while working on a careful mix or power development and muscle endurance.

THE COMPONENTS OF THE ARMSTROKE

The freestyle armstroke is a circular pattern around the shoulder joint. We can call each phase by different names, we must identify them as independent units in a continuous pattern. Here are the phases:

-Pitch and Catch: the arm starts up front with shoulder and elbow extended. It the abducts (moves outwards) to allow for greater acceleration and create a anatomical position that will allow flexion of the elbow without shoulder impingement. The elbow as it flexes should remain high to further set up the next phase of the stroke. The goal of the pitch and catch is to grab the water ahead and anchor the arm to be able to surge forward. This phase is also know as the “anchor” or the “high elbow catch”. Common mistakes include:

+Not abducting the shoulder, in other words no pitch.

+Pushing the arm downwards without a pitch and catch. This has prove effective for some very powerful short course sprinters but even those swimmers revert to a high elbow catch when swimming longer distances.

+Droping the elbow to initiate the catch. This action will ensure that the arm will be slipping through the water and not live to it power production potential. It is one of the most common mistakes in the freestyle stroke and a must to correct if maximum efficiency is a desired outcome.

-Power Phase: right after we catch the water we must press it back to produce the forward surge we desire. This is the least complicated phase but requires strength and muscular endurance. The power phase begins after the catch as the elbow is in a flexed position bringing our arm closer to our center of gravity and therefore in an ideal position for strength production and power application. This phase ends with arm reaching the hip with maximum velocity. There is no need to follow up the full elbow extension with further shoulder extension because this will produce the body to move downwards. The goal in freestyle swimming is to produce movements that will ensure that the body moves through the water in a forward pattern with the least amount of resistance.

-Recovery: the recovery phase begins with two movement which are shoulder extension and elbow flexion. As the power phase ends the swimmer’s goal is to position the arm back in front using the path of least resistance. The position of the body (how extended it is) and shoulder joint mobility and flexibility will affect this movement. After the arm is out of the water on a flexed position, the swimmer rotates the shoulder keeping the elbow bent about 90 degrees and brings it forward. After the arm is brought forward it begins to extend before it enters the water and finishes the extension in the water. Entering the water with arm fully flexed will create maximum resistance at the moment of extension. Doing the opposite will cause the swimmer to overreach and make the pitch and catch more difficult to accomplish. Nonetheless, there are some very fast swimmers that enter the water with the arm fully extended. This action however is not recommend for most beginner, intermediate and even advance swimmers.