| By Rob Polishook

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.

Ask yourself:

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

Rob Polishook, MA, CPC is the founder and director of Inside the Zone Sports Performance Group. As a mental training coach, his focus is on the athlete as a person first and recognizes the strength of being “More” than an Athlete.  Through this lens, he is able to help athletes be their best version of themselves both on and off the field. His best selling book Tennis Inside the Zone- 32 mental training workouts for champions is sold nationally and internationally. He has spoken at USTA, USPTA, ITA conferences, and has conducted workshops India, Israel and the Omega Institute. His work has been highlighted in ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, Sports Illustrated , NY Times and other media. Additionally Polishook is an adjunct Professor at Seton Hall University. He may be reached by phone at (973) 723-0314, e-mail rob@insidethezone.com, or visit www.insidethezone.com.