Confidence is something that every tennis player needs. It will allow you to relax as you play, handle pressure better and make the losses less painful. But exactly how does one get confidence? That is not so simple. If it were easy, everyone on the court would feel like Roger Federer.
Confidence is tough to hold onto, simply because competitive tennis is so challenging and the better you get, the more difficult the matches become. Everyone loses from time to time. I think the key to building or maintaining confidence is self-esteem or that inner feeling of pride. Here are some of the ways to build self-esteem:
1. Make a list of your greatest achievements in tennis and keep the list in your tennis bag. Read it before you go out to play in a tournament.
2. Develop a close tight-knit group of friends who will give you unconditional support.
3. Realize that you define who you are, not your tennis game.
4. Develop an air of independence.
5. Act a little like Mr. Cool in the cartoon. Dress and act the part of a winner. Be gracious when you win and when you lose.
6. Make sure that your intention is to have fun and to enjoy the game of tennis. Remember, you will play better when you are having fun.
Got pride? Do one or more of the above tips and you will find yourself more confident, proud and happy.
Dr. Tom Ferraro
For consultations, treatment or on-site visits, contact Dr. Tom Ferraro Ph.D., Sport Psychologist, by phone at (516) 248-7189, e-mail DrTFerraro@aol.com or visit DrTomFerraro.com.