The essences of tennis are the errors

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On todays pots I do NOT intend to criticize new generations, but to highlight some of their weakness and opportunities. We will talk about how errors influence new generations, how this influence is weakening their behavior and how new opportunities are rising up for those willing to adapt.



Nowadays, we often forget that the essences of tennis are the errors, because unlike other sports like football, where you earn point by scoring, in tennis you earn point when opponents do mistakes. Players never really take well their errors, but in my opinion, right now players get  push down by errors too much.


Today’s technology is developing at the fastest pace in history bringing us accuracy and instant access to almost anything that we want. The impact of these trends on future generations is tremendous, pushing them to grow and learn tennis differently, replacing traditional values like patience and commitment to work for immediacy and easiness.


These changes that we are recently experiencing required evolved teaching models and also a predisposition from players to adapt their learning to boost performance.


Weakening influence in new generations behaviour
In my opinion everyday we are becoming more dependable to this technology favoring a luck of responsibility on our behavior promoting what in psychology is called locus of control (LC), where players feel not responsible for their actions and creating stories to excuse their defeats is in fact, becoming a regular habit.


What happen when this trend meet with the fact that most of the tennis players experience learning through the kinesthetic system is that players achieve a high level of anxiety for success. The kinesthetic system perceives the information through touch, feelings and first hand experiences, this means that when the players are learning something they want to do it quickly, even before they understand it well. This anxiety prevents them a lot of times from listening and observing promoting misunderstandings that combine with the low tolerance level on errors can often generate frustration and disappointment due to experiencing the regular learning errors.


Emerging opportunities

However, players who wish to adapt and build healthy relationship that facilitates their learning can peak their performance  by working with specialized mental coach like our “GTAdvisers”, by reading professional book such as Smash your Tennis and by following these simple 6 steps to discover the essences of tennis are the errors.


Step 1: You must have a clear idea of your goals.


Step 2: You must train with no expectation or judgments, staying mindfulness.


Step 3: Identify the kind of error that you are experiencing such as lack of information, lack of practice or lack of attention. This kind of errors can be place in the following learning stages.


•Familiarization: Stage in which the errors are committed due to the lack of skill on executing the stroke in a low variable situation.

•Naturalization: Stage in which the errors are made due to the inconsistency on executing strokes in a predictable situation.

•Implementation: Stage where the errors are made by inadaptability of the strokes during a live ball rally.

•Competition: Stage in which the error is caused by the pressure of the competition that cause block of the unconscious execution.


Step 4: Compare your mistakes with your ideal projection of the stroke and prepare for next shoot.


Step 5: Clear up any justification, expectation or judgment from the past. Observe the last error, obtain valuable information and forget the rest. The fact that you just did 20 double faults in the last 5 games does not mean you will make another one. Maintaining the right mindset to execute each stroke, as a separate from the past ones is the only way to improve your odds of the present shots. Focus on the now not on the past or future.


Step 6: Visualize your working objective and start again at the stage where you are. Always maintain your identity as a person a part from the errors that you committed since they are part of your learning behavior and not an identification of inability as a player or a person.


In conclusion, the essences of tennis are the errors and only the error allows you to move toward your goal. Every error or defeat is just one more indicator in the learning process that helps you see your weak points and opportunities in your game. Develop a healthy relationship with errors and you will speed up your learning capabilities on and off the court.


When someone ask you about errors there will be no better answer that you can give than the one made by Thomas Edison inventor of the incandescent lamp: These errors are not failures, I’ve now got to know 1000 ways of how not to make a light bulb.

mental tennis training