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!!