Tennis can get quite frustrating if you do not carry the right mindset with you in your match. At the recreational level, most points end in a mistake, not a winner. Let’s put it this way; if you are in a close match, expect to lose half of the points you play. That can be hard to swallow, especially when we have successful careers outside of tennis where we are not used to being unsuccessful at something. Let’s put it this way; if you are in a close match expect to lose half of the points that you play! The pros have this situation basically every match! This is why they use “silver linings” to help with staying positive on the court.
What Are Silver Linings and How can I Use Them?
Silver linings are things you can do on the tennis court that you can control and that they will help your chances of winning. They help the player stay focused on the positives that happened in a losing point. For example, if I say that my silver lining is to keep my head down to watch the ball better, then even if I lose the point I can tell myself that I at least was able to do that every time through out that point. If my opponent has a big serve then maybe my silver lining is to just get my strings on the tennis ball as many times as I can. If you have a hard time moving your feet in matches, your silver lining could relate to being on your toes after you hit every ball or that you step into every groundstroke you hit. As you can see, silver linings are things you can control. Avoid making silver linings relate to outcomes that you cannot control. For example, having a silver lining of winning every point isn't going to help you play better. It will just add pressure to your performance and give you a reason to be upset for a good portion of your matches. Picking silver linings that can make multiple aspects of your game come together is a good indicator of one to choose. For example, if I say that my silver lining is to have a loose grip, that will also allow me to follow through all the way out and force me to use my stomach, hips and shoulders rather than my arm.
There are a number of ways to sabotage your chances of playing well in a tennis match. I will go through those on a later blog but the focus for this topic is to consider how to use silver linings in your matches to help you play better by staying positive and calm through frustrating moments in your matches. Having something positive to focus on after a frustrating point can allow you to play better the next point.
I'm Heading To Spain....I Need Your Help!
If possible, please reply to this blog or comment on the video below to help me come up with some good questions for me to ask when I work on my tennis game with some local tennis instructors in Madrid. I'm looking forward to bringing back some useful tips to improve your game!
Want to learn to hit more forehands? Learn by Roger Federer! Check out this video below: