Wawrinka’s Pre-Match Nerves No Barrier To His 3rd Grand Slam…

That was another incredible big match performance by Stan Wawrinka to claim his 3rd Grand Slam and 11th finals victory in a row. Interestingly, it came after what he described as being the most nervous he has ever been before a match…

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I found his candour regarding his pre-match nerves refreshing. Here’s what he said in his post-match interview:

“Today, before the final, I was really nervous like never before. I was shaking in the locker. When we start five minutes before the match talking, last few things with Magnus, I start to cry. I was completely shaking…I was also — because I don’t want to lose the final in a Grand Slam. That simple. That’s the only reason….The pressure, I was feeling amazing after the semifinal. I was feeling great yesterday. Really happy. But this morning it start to be there, the feeling of you don’t want to lose. I don’t want to come to the court and lose a final. So close, so far.”

The reason players almost always feel nervous before matches is that when we enter competition we have 2 very different motivations…(you can see my visual display of how these motivations affect player experience above)

The desire to win, but also the desire not to lose.

These may sound the same but they’re not and motivate very different internal experiences…

So as players consider the possible outcomes before matches they experience both excitement to do with the desire to win, and anxiety to do with the desire not to lose.

And when a player misses an easy shot at a crucial time of the match they will likely experience frustration to do with moving away from their natural desire to win, while at the same time feeling anxiety regarding moving closer to their desire not to lose.

It’s also why players feel both pain and anger when they lose, and joy and relief when they win…

When we as coaches understand that these motivations are always part of competing it can help us normalise their existence (this is one of the simplest, most helpful communications we can have with our players).

 

2016 US Open Women’s Final…A Resilience Story

# I think Angelique Kerber’s rise to the top of women’s tennis is one of the most remarkable stories of resilience in tennis history…I wrote about this earlier in the year when she won the Australian Open…Here is my update

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10:  Angelique Kerber of Germany returns a shot against Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic during their Women's Singles Final Match on Day Thirteen of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 10, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

In 2011 when Angelique Kerber arrived at the US Open, she was nearly 24 years old, had been on the tour for 7 years, and had passed the first round main draw of her previous Grand Slams on just 5 of 19 attempts (and had never been past the 3rd round).

From the outside looking in, most experts I’m sure would have already pigeonholed her career as a journey woman destined to be a perennial early round Grand Slam loser until career end.

That she went on to make the semis at that 2011 US Open was surprising…

That she slowly but surely built herself into a regular top 10er was superb….

That she has just become the World#1, won her 2nd Slam of the year, and also made finals appearances at Wimbledon and the Olympics is simply remarkable.

Her finals victory was another reminder of a career trademarked by resilience…

3 Reasons Tennis Is Not A Game Of Perfect: Nishikori VS Murray

The Nishikori vs Murray rollercoaster gave us another clear example of why tennis is far from a game of perfect…

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07:  Kei Nishikori of Japan celebrates after defeating Andy Murray of Great Britain during their Men's Singles Quarterfinal match on Day Ten of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Here are 3 points to remember when working with your players in competition:

1.) We All Have Naturally Wandering Minds

It is hard for even the best players to continually commit actions to helpful process point after point because we all have a mind that is easily distracted…

And it looked today like both players were suffering frequent concentration lapses as the match ebbed and flowed one way then the other…

A Premium Coach Program Success Story…TCU Mens Tennis

{#Important note: In just over 24hr the Grand Opening special to my paid Mental Toughness Mastery Programs ends. But I also want to let you know that I’ve decided to not only end the sale, but also close registration completely for all programs. The reasons for this is that I’ve had more coaches register for my programs than expected which is great. But given that I want to do a great job supporting registered coaches along the way…and I’m also opening my Parent Academy next week + wrapping up my PhD collaboration with Tennis Australia in the coming months, I won’t be able to accept any more coaches into the Coach Academy until sometime next year. So if you’ve registered already great, but if not, your chance to register ends very soon. You can do so for 50% off until Program close by applying this coupon: GRANDOPENING at checkout (I won’t be able to offer this discount again).}

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If you are considering registration, the development of my PLUS/PREMIUM Programs have been influenced greatly by the participation and feedback of some fantastic coaches over the last several years.

One of those coaches is Devin Bowen…

A couple of years ago I was contacted by Devin Bowen.

He was working with a talented junior player at the time and he was finding it difficult to help this player achieve the competitive effectiveness that he was striving for.

3 Things The Most Successful Junior Academies Have In Common…

{#Important note: In less than 2 days the Grand Opening special to my paid Mental Toughness Mastery programs ends. But I also want to let you know that I’ve decided to not only end the sale, but also close registration completely for all programs until 2017. The reasons for this is that I’ve had more coaches register for my programs than expected which is great. But given that I want to do a great job supporting registered coaches along the way…and I’m also opening my Parent Academy next week + wrapping up my PhD collaboration with Tennis Australia in the coming months, I won’t be able to accept any more coaches into the Coach Academy until next year (and there’s every chance that the programs will be more expensive upon re-opening). So if you’ve registered already fantastic, but if not, given that your chance to register ends in 2 days…If you are considering registration, I’ll do my best to give you the information you need to decide if any of my programs are right for you via a couple of posts before closing.}

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If you’re considering registering for my Free Partner Program here’s what you need to know:

One thing I’ve learned repeatedly over the last 10 years is that those academies/programs that achieve the best player and business outcomes generally have 3 things in common: