A tennis coaches perception vs reality
I train a lot of tennis coaches and I also work with amateur and professional tennis players. From both sides I hear a lot of chatter about what coaches think (perception) is going on with their athletes and how that translates to the athlete. By the end of practice, some of my tennis players aren’t really sure what they are suppose to be doing. Why? Because their perception is completely different and they sometimes don’t know what to do with the feedback that comes from coaches.
One of my professional tennis came me a little bit of an anxious wreck. After a year together she was less anxious and much more confident, calm and relaxed but then she started with working with coaches gave her a ton of physical things to think about during a match (which is not the time to think) which made it impossible to use her mental training and she went back to being an anxious wreck.
See if some of these sound familiar:
|Choking:Why can’t you keep it together till the end of the match?|
|Not playing like practice:Why don’t you play like you practice?|
|Thinking too much:Where’s your head today?|
|Too many unforced errors/lost points:You were getting to the shots but you weren’t making them!|
|Getting tight:You need to loosen up!|
In actuality here’s what’s happening:
|Coach||Mental Skill Deficiency|
|Choking:Why can’t you keep it together till the end of the match?||Lack of resilience|
|Not playing like practice:Why don’t you play like you practice?||Lack of confidence|
|Thinking too much:Where’s your head today?||Lack of positive thinking|
|Too many unforced errors/lost points:You were getting to the shots but you weren’t making them!||Lack of focus|
|Getting tight:You need to loosen up!||Lack of self-regulation|
How do you think a coaches perception translates: what’s wrong with you? You need to practice harder! You need to practice longer! And athletes do but nothing really changes. What is really behind some of these tennis specific challenges? Lack of resiliency. Lack of confidence, Lack of positive thinking. Lack of focus. Coaches need to be able to think a little bit deeper: what’s beneath the manifestation?
Until coaches are able to understand that what they see and how they see it is not reality for their athlete, athletes are going to continue to be marginalized as lazy and unmotivated further pushing the athlete into a downward spiral. Every wonder why some athletes just don’t get improve? They don’t have mental game!
If you are a tennis coach, join me on Monday, March 2nd, 4-5 pm PST for my Beating the Tennis Demons Coaching System – Practitioner Level™
Happy end of February!