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Simona Halep - Mental Skills

Simona Halep’s recent Wimbledon win over Serena Williams was a flawless performance. During Halep’s post match interview she shared key mental strategies that tennis players’ at all levels can learn to elevate their competitive match play mental focus.

*Halep developed a game plan prior to the match and committed to that game plan. She knew which shots she needed to take Serena out of her comfort zone and stuck to that plan.

*Halep knows that Serena will fight back with power and purpose. Halep kept her thoughts focused on the points vs. thinking about who she was playing and what could happen.

*Within eleven minutes Halep was up 4-0. She stayed focused on playing every point vs. engaging in a mental dialogue about the score.

*Halep knew her returns of serve had to be effective. During her last practice session she prepared by primarily focusing on hitting returns of serve.

*Halep embraced her nerves vs. fighting or trying to ignore them. She channeled her nerves in a positive way to support her efforts.

These mental skills can be developed for player’s at any level of the game.

Here is the link to the Wimbledon 2019 post match interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho8bnRl0u9c

Tennis Professional Guido Bella, A Calmer Player

Argentine professional tennis player Guido Pella discusses with journalist Jonathon Braden, steps he took that helped him become a calmer, more focused and successful player on the court. Pella has shifted his focus so moment to moment he is able to stay centered in the present. “My mind is in the right place. It doesn’t matter if I lose the first set or if I lose the second set. I still am remaining calm, and I think that that’s the key in tennis. Eighty, 90 percent of tennis, it’s about the mind.”

Stressors of Elite Teenage Sport Participation

The Atlantic Magazine’s recently published article by Linda Flanagan titled,¬†“Why Are So Many Teen Athletes Struggling With Depression?” is a good read on the multi-layered stressors that can influence the mental health of ¬†young elite athletes in today’s competitive sports environment.

The article is also a reminder to coaches and parents of the the essential importance of creating life balance in a developing athletes life.