How Tennis Players Can Deal With Anxiety
Tennis is one of the few sports where just about everything you do has a direct impact on whether you’re successful or not in any given match or tournament (unless you’re playing doubles, of course). Your every movement is being watched, and if your body language starts going from positive to negative, your opponent can very easily use that momentum to their benefit.
This sounds pretty stressful, right? It’s completely normal to feel some anxiety in certain situations – everybody does at one point or another. However, in order to move past it and continue enjoying the sport of tennis, you must know how to properly deal and channel that anxiety in a proper manner.
Don’t Be in a Rush
When someone is feeling anxiety about anything – not just tennis – it’s a natural feeling to try and get past it as fast as possible. That usually means rushing through whatever activity you’re doing so you can be done and start to calm down.
On the tennis court, though, rushing through can lead to a bunch of unforced errors. Sure, the set or match may finish quicker, but not playing well can also add to that anxiety you’re feeling. To avoid this, find ways to slow things down in between points. This is a good reason to have a solid routine because it’ll give you a moment to catch your breath. Which brings us to…
Control Your Breathing
Anxiety usually leads to tension, whether it’s mentally or physically. When these thoughts and feelings start to overcome you, it’s easy for your breathing to get out of sync with your on-court play. Plus, taking a few deep breaths to help yourself hit the reset button is also a great way to deal with anxiety.
Be Prepared For Those Situations
Are there specific points in a match that make you feel this kind of pressure? If there are things you can pinpoint that make you feel the way you do, it’s important to identify it and figure out a way to get past it. The best way to do this is to recreate that particular situation in practice so you can get used to conquering the feeling.
Being able to find success through these situations in practice help you react in a calmer manner when you’re approached with them in an actual match.
Remember to Have Fun!
Especially for competitive players, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the nerves and anxiety of a match or tournament that has something riding on it. However, it’s important to remember that at the end of the day, tennis is a game and it’s supposed to be fun. That’s why you started playing it in the first place!
If you’re able to re-frame your mind in a way to look forward to feeling some pressure and overcoming it, your entire perspective on the situation itself could change.
Interested in signing up for an adidas Tennis Camp this summer? Click here to find a camp near you and receive more information.