THE TENNIS PSYCHOLOGIST
title (C)2013 by William G. Milne
Please excuse legal matter above. I posted this
blog and almost immediately lost the title, then regained it.
BATTLE MATCH :
Despite the fact that they did not have a huge
audience, I was moved by the intensity of the crowd and players at the Raonic vs Gasquet match. It was a five
set high-intensity battle, fought with the utmost
determination and skill to the end by both players.
The crowd was as excited as the players. And
even if the audience was highly partisan, there was something about the feel of this confrontation
that most modern matches seem to be lacking.
Stan the Man:
Now that Federer is less intent on defending his
number 1 ranking and is fading from the spotlight
somewhat, Stan Wawrinka, Roger`s long time
hitting partner seems to have unconsciously received
permission to step forward into the noon
of his own day.
In his match with Djokovic, I noticed Stan
using 3 or 4 shots strategy, thinking ahead, using
plays that are chess-like.
Obviously, he`s learned a lot from Federer,
and he`s a pretty smart
I spent years playing tennis and also years
doing sitting, using one meditative technique
or another - allowing the river of the mind to
clear itself, without wrenching, without trying:
just allowing the river to clear on its own,
becoming unroiled, unmuddied.
Not GRASPING after old memories
or loves, but seeing the beauty of each past
event without attempts of possessing...
Do NOT try to FORCE thoughts from
your mind - a dark space, empty of movement
is not the goal.
The goal is a burning window with
nothing inside...a window that allows
quick movements and reflexes... a burning
that consumes all thoughts
Your running and hitting will
create the burning.
The twelth century mystic, Meister
Eckhart has an expression:
"THE MORE WE HAVE, THE LESS WE OWN."
This thought can be applied to tennis.
The objectiveis to clear the mind of extraneous
thoughts,without using strong-armed tactics.
Watch the river flow in the window of your
mind, allow all thoughts and worries
to pass. You might have a problem
with your mortgage, but thinking about it
when you`re hitting the ball is not going to
help your tennis game.
Once you`ve been running hard, the
endorphin-filled boiling silence of your focus,
this is all you need.
You can`t think as you`re hitting
your backhand - unless you`re just a beginner
and you must remember your form -
recent instructions from your teacher.
This is important - do not think,
do not try for something other than what
you`re doing, and this ESPECIALLY
don`t judge yourself; don`t put yourself down, berate
yourself mentally in your mind.
Thinking, "That was a bad
backhand - that last shot...." this quickly
becomes, "I have a bad backhand. I can`t
do a backhand.` These are deadly thoughts.
Think this way and you WILL
have a bad backhand.
Judging yourself harshly without
forgiveness is often a life problem. And
such negative self-talk not only becomes
depression. It IS depression
That and repressed anger
can really mess you up and create tension,
and when you`re tense, you simply can`t
react fast enough at the net.