Coaching Emotional Fitness vs Emotional Control…

(And Why Understanding the Difference is So Important)

In just a few days I’ll be opening the doors to my Mentally Tough Tennis Coach Academy…

I’ve been refining this program for the last few years while working with coaches worldwide at all levels of the game so I can provide for you the best possible coaching psychology development opportunity…

So if your a coach who’d like to better assist your players mental toughness development and/or provide a better customer service while adding a revenue stream for your business/program, you can preview what’ll be available for you here…

In the program, one of the major ideas I focus on is the importance of helping players develop ’emotional fitness’ rather than ’emotional control’…

Understanding the difference between these concepts and increasing skill in coaching ’emotional fitness’ is usually the easiest and most powerful way that we can better help players develop long-term mental toughness…

So here’s a clip of me discussing these ideas during my Tennis Australia Coaches Conference presentation…

A Simple, Time Effective Way to Develop Your Players’ Self-Awareness…

One of the most common barriers to mental toughness occurs when players become ‘caught up’ in unintentional difficult internal experiences like nerves and frustration and consequently begin taking actions based on these experiences.

To overcome this barrier players must first recognise that their actions have become dominated by these experiences…

The required skill here is self-awareness..

In this video from the Australian Open Coaches Conference I discuss the most common difficult internal experiences that players become caught up in and introduce you to a simple activity that you can do with your players to begin to enhance both their concentration and self-awareness…

The Foundations of Player Mental Toughness…

I often find myself saying to coaches and players that “the components of tennis mental toughness are relatively easy to understand but very hard to do”…

At it’s core player mental toughness requires simply choosing to focus on a helpful process at the beginning of the rally or point, and actually committing to actions based on that focus during the rally or point.

In this way the formula for mental toughness is Helpful Attention + Action = Mental Toughness

And the key reflection…

Players must regularly check in at the end of rallies/points and ask the following question: Did I commit my actions to my chosen attention during the rally or point?

The bottom line is that, assuming that we as coaches are helping educate players on the processes that will most help them improve (in practice) and win (in matches), the player who most frequently commits to repeating this simple formula in practice and matches will improve the most and become the most effective competitor…

So, of course, it’s super important that we encourage players to practice it..Check out the video above with USC freshman Jack Jaede to see how I tend to encourage players to practice this process…

The On-Court Coach Communication Style Critical to Player Mental Toughness Development…

When we get this one on court coaching communication style consistently right, it’s about as powerful a mental toughness promoter as there is…

That’s the reason that we all should focus on it until it’s fundamental to our coaching (especially when players get frustrated after missing a shot/losing a point during practice).

But because of our competitive brain it’s hard not to fall for the trap of doing a poor job of this when working on improving an area of a player’s game….I know I catch myself not doing it very well regularly.

And I’m guessing if I watched you coach I’d see you regularly trip up on this one as well…This video is about how to gradually boost your players mental toughness by using this simple communication style.

Do you agree or do you think there’s something more important than this?

Let me know in the comment section below…

Varying Time Between Practice Rallies to Develop Competitive Skill…

Typically, when players miss a ball during practice, they tend to feed the next ball in quite quickly (generally a couple of secs) without intentionally refocusing before the start of the rally.

When players do this, however, they miss out on a great opportunity to develop basic competitive skills.

Here are 2 activities I complete with players regularly to help them practice intentionally refocusing and committing to a helpful process for each new rally (you can also see me explain and complete the activities with USC freshman Jack Jaede in the video above where he is completing the ‘calling the attention’ activity I showed you in an earlier video post…)

Activity 1: 5 Secs Between Rallies