Tennis can bring out a lot of emotions from players on the court. From excitement, panic, calmness, tension, anger, frustration and happiness you can feel it all. Often all in the course of one single point.
Now you know why they call this a mental game?!
How do professionals handle their emotions and what are their best practices, let’s take a look to find out.
Letting It Out
The simplest way is to just let it out. Be it calls of “Come On!“, “Yeah!” or just a loud scream. Whatever helps, just say it. At times players just talk and coach themselves in between points so that they can focus on the next point better.
Remember, don’t say anything which will give you a warning, or even worse a penalty!
Some players have routines that help them think away from the pressure of the match. Like how Rafael Nadal always puts his bottles a certain way, some say its superstition, but Rafael just says it’s a thing he does. So for him it could be therapeutic to do so.
Other examples include players always taking the ball from the same ball person, or only from one side. Serena never takes two balls at a time, while others choose to tuck one into their pants. These are but a few quirks that each player develops on their own which helps them always keep their emotions in check.
Food for Thought
No matter who you are, food is probably the most calming thing for a human being. So keeping your favourite snack, or food item with you, be it fruits, sandwiches, juices or anything else that you can eat during a match will help your mind stay calm especially when you should be resting in between games.
Prepare your favourite snack and take it along with you, just the thought that you have the comfort food with you will keep you calm when you step on the court.
Do you have any suggestions on ways to keep your emotions calm during a match? Please share them below.