04 May 16  |  Tennis   |  

Playing Tennis at Golden Ocala Involves Using Mental Planning

Some imaginative thinkers may picture microscopic tennis balls flying around inside the heads of good players. Although the imagery might be a little disturbing, the reality, figuratively speaking, is closer to the truth.

The best athletes play the game in their heads first before hitting the field, the greens or the court. Playing tennis at Golden Ocala and elsewhere has a uniquely mental side. And one of the best ways to improve your game is to go indoors – into your mind. You’ve got to visualize it, which just might mean letting those electromagnetic tennis balls bounce from one synapse to another.

No. We at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club’s Tennis Club haven’t packed our psychological bags, leaving good sense and sound judgment behind. We’re letting the tennis buffs of Golden Ocala in on the secret to success: Make it mental. Tennis at Golden Ocala involves putting your brain to work for you.

While many good players rightly spend time doing their routines and exercises on the court to improve their skills, experts say that often the advantage excellent players gain over good players originates between their ears.

Bounce Your Way to Mental Success

In short, making it a mental game might give you the edge.

So, what is a mental game?

Tennis pro Angus Mugford describes in ACTIVE that good players should put their minds in a reflective mode: Consider how you make court decisions, what are you thinking during good games and how do work through tough matches? “I sometimes ask players if they talk to themselves. Even the people who say no are probably telling themselves, ‘No, I don’t do that. Does he think I’m crazy or something?’”

Woman getting ready to play tennis

That internal dialogue might not be bad if employed correctly. Experts say we typically “exchange” more than 300 words with ourselves per minute. (That’s a lot of talking.)

“Now think about how important what you say is. The significance is this: Where our mind leads, our body follows,” Mugford said.

Negative Self-Talk Can Squash Your Game

The initial paradox of the double talk during tennis (and in so many other aspects of life) can take a negative shape. You keep repeating: “Don’t hit the net.” Then you do.

Experts call that setting negative targets. Players often put their minds on hold during practice sessions but flip their mental switches during games, especially big ones, which might be a mistake. That’s when the mind starts dictating how the game is played and painting a bleak picture of the outcome. While muscle memory from all those practices and all those repetitive routines is a reliable mechanism to produce positive results, the mind keeps sending angst-loaded signals about the prospects of inevitable failure.

Have any questions about your game? Call the Tennis Pro Shop at 352-402-4351 today!

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