Focus and Concentration

Too many times I see parents or coaches telling their kids to focus or concentrate on the tennis court, but very few kids actually understand what that means. Kids would nod their head as a sign of understanding and possibly some of them might tell themselves to “focus”, but a general phrase in the head will not translate into anything on the court. Here are 2 steps that can help gear thoughts and increase focus and concentration better on the court:

  • Find a focal point with your eyes, like a tennis ball or strings, and do not take your eyes off of it, especially while picking up balls (between points or drills). That will prevent your eyes from wondering around and getting distracted by who is playing on the next court, or who is watching, or how parent or coach reacts to your last point. Also, means “get in the zone” or your “tennis bubble”. Nothing should exist besides tennis court, balls and your opponent. If you find yourself looking away from the court, quickly get back to your focal point. You see pro’s always going into their strings after points!
  • Figure out the specifics of your concentration or focus, if you are just distracted, then you need only 1st step above, but typically you have something specific that you need to focus or concentrate on. For example, it can be anything simple like move your feet, bend your knees, step into the ball, to something more complex such as stick to your pattern and do not improvise. The key to this step is to tell inside of your head that specific information before every shot or before every point depending on the specifics.

Tip: Use both steps in practice for something that coach has been telling you for a long time, but not for 1 to 2 hours but for days or weeks until you do not hear this information any longer!!

Experience is vital in Tennis!

 I hear a lot from parents that my son or daughter had a great match. There were a lot of deuces, but the score was 0/6 1/6. That difference of winning important points is huge, mostly not that the other person hits the ball differently, but about how they think about those points. Also, typically, if someone is winning 6/0 6/1, they have another level that does not show due to the score simply because it is not necessary.So, what is that makes one person perform much better under tight situations like deuces and always (most times) makes them come on top? Is it mental toughness that everyone talks about? Yes, mental toughness definitely plays a big role in that situation by keeping yourself calm and rational. Most importantly, it is your personal EXPERIENCE about those situations.

What is EXPERIENCE on the tennis court? It is a collection of thoughts and feels that you have from the past matches and were able to overcome those situation with a specific shot or a tactic. To gain that experience one has be able to experiment on the court with different shots and tactics during match situation in pressure moments. By the way, every single person has to gain his/her experience, typically just listening to someone else would not work effectively because player has to live through it. Different phases of gaining experience:

  • Dead ball execution at practice
  • Faster feeding execution at practice
  • Live ball execution at practice
  • Execution in the match
  • Execution in the match under pressure

Once a player can execute a specific shot or tactic in phase 5 that means that player owes that experience now and no-one can ever take that experience away from him/her but yourself (through unstable mindset)!

There was a great article from Toni Nadal a while back, he made Rafa serve and volley the whole match. Rafa ended up loosing an easy match by following his unkle’s instruction, but what he gained is EXPERIENCE that I am sure he reverts back to this day. Experience can be positive and negative, something that you trying to execute and something you are staying away from, and only YOU can make that call according to your abilities and mindset at the moment!

Welcome to CITA Blog!

We would like to welcome you to a CITA Blog! This is one more way how we would like to explore CITA’s life and the world of tennis in general. If you are a CITA’s fan or tennis enthusiast, you may share our posts with your friends and invite them to join our discussions. We are working on our first CITA post and will publish it soon, so check our site periodically!

 

How to keep a child in sports!

The first rule of sports for kids is to have FUN: laugh, smile, light enjoyment of competition, ability being part of the team, and an option of quitting if things get tough when suddenly it’s not fun anymore.

The first rule of young champions is to have FUN: wanting to play more after 5 hrs of practice; getting dirty, tired, and sweaty during practice; enjoying criticism because they understand it will make them better; enjoying competition especially when it gets really tough; and welcoming every difficulty that gets throwing at them by saying “that looks hard and can’t wait to practice that and get better at it!!

Every kid is talented at something. Make sure that child finds passion and make sure your kids are having the right type of fun when playing sports!

 

Tennis is a Marathon!

Tennis is a Marathon, and it is not for one person. There are three main elements in this journey. They are: PLAYER – COACH – PARENT. What is the proper place for each one of them, and what are their relationship between each other while they try to reach the finish line? These are challenging questions, but we will be glad to raise them in our upcoming CITA posts! So check our site for a Blog section more often!

 

 

Welcome to CITA Blog!

We would like to welcome you to a CITA Blog! This is one more way how we would like to explore CITA’s life and the world of tennis in general. If you are a CITA’s fan or tennis enthusiast, you may share our posts with your friends and invite them to join our discussions. We are working on our first CITA post and will publish it soon, so check our site periodically!