#5. MENTAL TOUGHNESS BASICS: Outcome Goals vs. Performance Goals

Examples of outcome goals: Win Conference, win Sectional, win State, go undefeated, and win all three-set matches. These goals you do not have complete control over.


Examples of performance goals: Get in top physical condition, play smart, strategic tennis; great teamwork in doubles, help every player on team become a better player, get 80% of my first serves in, no double faults in a match, give 100% effort and attitude in every practiced and match. These goals you have control over.


Define your success in terms of your performances and successes rather than by comparing your performances to others.


You have more control over Performance goals than Outcome goals.


Set SMART goals:


o Specific (avoid “do your best” goals)


o Measurable (able to track behavioral progress)


o Achievable (challenging but realistic)


o Relevant (important to the athlete or team)


o Time-limited (set deadlines for achievement)


For more help on developing real objective goals for your development and/of  your mental toughness contact us!!!







# 4. MENTAL TOUGHNESS BASICS: 5 Simple Techniques To Improve Your Mental Toughness.

Here are five simple techniques you can try right away:

1. The best all-around mental repair tool is the simple phrase, “only the ball.” It cures, at least temporarily, most of the big pitfalls. Whether you’re upset, angry, nervous, or just distracted, repeat this phrase to block out negative thoughts and return your focus to where it belongs, the ball.

2. Probably the hardest time to concentrate is when you’re getting ready to return serve. Your opponent has the ball, so your mind seems to sense that this is an opportunity for a little time off. The next thing you know, you’re mind is wondering off  as you are rudely interrupted by a green, rubber ball coming in at 90 m.p.h. A combination of three devices can help keep your mind on the job:

  • While your opponent is preparing, try to focus on something undistracting, like your strings. (Strings get readjusted a lot more than needed because of this little trick.)
  • As she tosses the ball, try to watch it come out of her hand and say to yourself a long, drawn-out, “baaalll.”
  • As she hits the serve, say “hit,” followed by “bounce,” then on your return swing, “hit.”

The “baaalll” device seems to work well for most players without much of a downside. The “hit, bounce, hit” phrase is also popular, but for some players it distracts more than it helps.

3. It’s possible to become too analytical in the middle of a match, which will keep you from letting your strokes take their natural flow, but you don’t want to shut down your analytical abilities, either. If you miss a shot you shouldn’t have, you’ll dwell on it less if you take a moment to figure out what you did wrong, then say to yourself, “Okay, I won’t do that again.” It’s usually a good idea to repeat the stroke right away with the correct motion. You might very well make the same error the next time the stroke comes up, but just go ahead and apply the same process. Eventually you will get it right, and in the meantime, a little extra optimism won’t hurt.

4. Learn versatility. If you have only one playing style, and it’s not working, your lack of strategic options also creates a shortage of mental safety valves. A key factor in psychological health in general is feeling empowered to choose different courses of action. If you have a Plan B, C, and D on the tennis court, the failure of Plan A is unlikely to cause despair. Tennis players often lose because at least a part of them secretly gives up. You won’t give up while you have something else to try. Learn to play every part of the court and hit every kind of shot with every kind of spin. You’ll likely uncover a weakness in a seemingly invicible opponent. Variety makes the game more creative and interesting, too.

5. Look alert, energetic, confident, and happy. Looking so will actually help you be so to a significant extent, and it will keep you from giving encouragement to your opponent. If your opponent is at all prone to choking, your look of ready confidence on the verge of seeming defeat might keep just enough doubt in her mind to make her cave under the pressure of closing out the match.

These will be a great start for any of you…. So try them…


For more great ideas and strategies to help you perform at your best all the time contact us directly here!!!








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