A Winning Mentality

Andy Murray

Andy Murray (Photo credit: Carine06)

How many times have you watched a tennis match and been frustrated by your hero’s lack of mental strength?  When they choke at a big point, or seem to be playing really well, then suddenly lose it.  Or, they come out on court for an important match and never really seem there, or seem scared.  If you’re British, it often seems like it’s a disease that’s particularly our own, but its not.

To take a British example, look at Andy Murray.  He never seemed to quite make it and I would be the first to say it was not his lack of tennis skill, rather his mental strength that was letting him down.  In fact, he has admitted it himself that working with a psychologist has freed his mind up to win.

It’s not just the pros that sufferer this problem though.  Are you like me, that you never play as well in a match as you do in practice?  Well, working with a sports psychologist when I visited the JC Ferrero academy in Spain has begun to change that – I’m still not there one hundred percent, but just a few tricks of the trade have made a big difference.  I would go so far as to say that it if you get your mental game in place, then you have already one the match.

When I returned to Cyprus, I sought out an expert here and eventually found one by accident.  Elena Avraam is a BASES and AASP accredited sport and exercise psychology consultant.  Now we are working on our first seminar here in Pafos.

So, make a date in your diary for the 28th March, when you can join us at Neapolis University to learn more about how to add at least another 15% to your performance 🙂  It’s open to everyone.

Top ATP Experience

English: Miles Maclagan during Hopman Cup 2010...

English: Miles Maclagan during Hopman Cup 2010 as Andy Murray’s coach. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week, I gained a really good insight into coaching at the top level. I attended the 1 week Tennis Course with Miles Maclagan at Aphrodite Hills.  Who is Miles Maclagan?  He was the coach for Andy Murray and Marcos Baghdatis.  So, a top level ATP coach.

Aimed at players, the course nevertheless was useful from a coaching perspective, although I have to admit I enjoyed improving my playing and dedicating 14 hours to it over the week 🙂

So what is the difference between a top ATP coach and normal Tennis Coaches? Well, from talking to Miles and being trained by him, I would say the basics remain the same.  It’s more a case of making small adjustments, doing many of the same drills and the major part is working on shot selection and tactics.

Overall I enjoyed the experience and believe it can only add to the coaching that I provide.  I’s also like to thank my pupils for their patience last week as the course disrupted the usual lessons, but I’m sure they agree that it was all in a good cause 🙂

Tennis Coaching in Cyprus

Nicolas Mahut against Kristof Vliegen in the 2...

Image via Wikipedia

I love this quote:

“I have always considered tennis as a combat in an arena between two gladiators who have their racquets and their courage as their weapons” – Yannick Noah

Yannick Noah may be a player from many years ago, but this is still more than true.  Just think back to Wimbledon 2010 – where else would you see that?  A record-breaking match that lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes over 3 days and on one of those days 7 hours of continuous play.  John Isner and Nicholas Mahut were gladiators and went beyond normal human endurance.  I wonder if we will ever see anything like it again?

When you play singles, it is just you out there.  All the preparation work has to be done before to get you to that point where you have all the tools, knowledge of how to use them and the physical and mental strength.  All this though is nothing unless you have the desire to win.  Not all of us though want to compete.  What brings us to together is our love of tennis.

So, whether you are beginner, intermediate, or more advanced, or whether you wish to just have fun, or see how far your potential can take you, why not come and try out my coaching.  PTR trained, I love teaching Tennis in Cyprus as well as playing it and get great satisfaction to see my pupils advance.

I have also put together a full support team for those of you that are serious about tennis, or serious about getting fit.  This includes a qualified nutritionist, personal trainer and sports therapist.

I look forward to seeing you out on the courts!