How many of you take lesson after lesson, hoping to learn the latest technique that will give you the edge? And how many of you read all the key tennis publications, looking to glean one or two valuable instructional tips? Most probably answered “yes” to these questions, but what if you could improve your game by simply asking yourself—and thoughtfully answering—a few questions? Would that be worth it to you?
In the book Mental Warfare in Tennis Lessons From a Master by Brad Gilbert & Steve Jamison, Gilbert speaks about the value of identifying your strengths and ensuring that you make them the backbone of your game. With that goal in mind, I have provided below seven questions that will help you to emphasize the positive, while highlighting areas for development in a purposeful, growth-oriented way.
1. What am I doing in my game that is working?
2. What is behind my overall success?
3. If I could imagine the ideal game—a situation for which I would strive—what would it look like?
4. What is the difference between where my game is and where I want it to be?
5. What steps do I need to take to address these issues?
6. What resources are available to help me take positive action?
7. When can I start taking action?
There are always areas in which both individual players and teams are doing well. By identifying these areas, you can use them as the foundation on which to build a solid improvement plan. Additionally, by starting with a positive scenario, you are more likely to make changes, and it becomes easier to identify what is missing from the ideal picture.
Rob Polishook, MA, CPC is the founder of Inside the Zone Sports Performance Group. As a mental training coach, he works with athletes helping them to unleash their mental edge through mindfulness, somatic psychology and mental training skills. Rob is author of 2 best selling books: Tennis Inside the Zone and Baseball Inside the Zone: Mental Training Workouts for Champions. He can be reached by phone at (973) 723-0314, by e-mail email@example.com, by visiting insidethezone.com, or following on Instagram @insidethezone.