June 12, 2017
The Importance of Habits
According to a study from Duke University, close to 50% of your every day activities are habits. This makes sense as we have many routines throughout our day that start with what we do to get ready for the day and end with what we do to get ready for bed. This can also relate to all of your actions during a tennis match. We tend to do the same actions between points, changeovers, before serves and returns. So if successful business people have healthy and effective habits, one would expect the top pros would have habits that help them perform well too. Let’s take a look at Maria Sharapova before she serves:
As you can see from just this clip, proffesional tennis players have a set routine that they do to get their mind and body ready for a point. They realize how much these habits impact their game and so should you! So let’s take a look at yours……
Do Your Habits Help or Hamper Your Performance?
Looking at your habits as a 3rd person perspective can reveal some ineffective habits that can be changed to help your mind and body perform as well as possible during your points. Some questions about your habits you want to ask yourself include:
· Are your rituals before points/games the same or does it depend on the result of the point? Not having consistent rituals will make it hard to be consistent with your concentration during play and ultimately impact your chances of winning.
· Do your rituals calm or excite you? Matches can be physically challenging. Are you conserving your energy between points or exerting un needed energy towards what happened and not preparing for the upcoming point?
· Are you reactive or proactive? Being reactive towards the outcome of a point is natural and showing positive emotions is important to pump yourself up. Too many times players will be negative towards the outcome of the point, keeping their mind in the past rather than back to the challenge at hand. There needs to be constant reevaluations of your strategy and efforts to ensure you are doing your best to challenge your opponent and ultimately win the match.
· What are your pregame rituals? In the book “ “ author “ “ explains the importance of getting your mind and body ready for the up coming competition. The consistent songs, stretches, movements and food before your matches can all can help your chances of performing well.
· Do you practice these rituals during just matches? Understanding the importance of habits will help remind you to include them in your practicing. For example, doing the same thing before each serve as if you are in a match can help you automate it and allow for less chance of your serve to break down.
Want More Information?
The book “Power of Habits” is a great book to look at that helps dissect the science and importance of habits that has done a lot in helping me become successful in both my personal and professional lives.