Bulletpoint Summary of Key Points
*Mental toughness is 85% of tennis play.
*First weapon of mental toughness is Visualization: mental rehearsal of strokes and matches which decreases anxiety and improves stroke production.
*Second weapon of mental toughness is Concentration: a laser focus on "staying in the here and now", meaning the point at hand, the moment in time and the current place or location.
*Third weapon of mental toughness is Acceptance of Responsibility. Accept who you are as a player. Don't compare yourself to others but simply to your own goals.
*Control your emotion and aggression. (Tennis is "controlled aggression".)
*An obstacle in tennis play (sun, wind, bad line call, etc.) is a challenge to overcome, not an excuse for failure or surrender.
*Every shot in tennis is a chance to start a good habit or continue a bad habit.
*Breathing technique: 4 seconds inhale, 6 seconds exhale.
*Success requires goal-setting (identify where you are and where you are going). Goals can be performance goals (match play objectives) or technical goals (strokes and swings).
*Important non-tennis activities for best performance are good nutrition and off-court training.
*The most important mental game of a match is: first game of second set. It allows either the first-set winner to "get on a roll", or the first-set loser to get back into the match.
*An important mental framework in tennis play is: high number of adjustment steps to the ball, and longer ball contact with racket strings.
*A critical mental skill for Return of Serve is "happy feet".
*The best mindset for court play is: Respect Everyone; Fear No One.
*The best philosophy is: "Tennis is a sport for a lifetime" of learning and experience.
Dr. Richard Cohen, Psychiatrist and decorated player and coach
Mental Toughness Seminar
Springfield, PA USA
January 9, 2020
Seminar on YouTube.com (Apx. 58 minutes)