One of Northern California’s legendary teachers, as well as a dear friend and mentor to me, Fred Earle penned the following 5 keys – that he expected his players to answer with a resounding yes, each and every day at the end of practice or a game.
And over the years at our club, I have seen that these 5 keys, when observed, are most often associated with players who improve more quickly than others.
Unfortunately, as often as not, players who get stuck along the way seem to struggle with these 5 keys.
Take them to heart – perhaps even copy them print them and post them on your refrigerator, or even your racquet bag!!
Building Self Confidence – as written by Fred Earle
One of the most difficult things for tennis players to acquire is confidence in themselves and their game. It’s difficult because confidence is something that can’t be taught. You have to risk and take chances in order to gain a better feeling about your game. Confidence is something that is built from success. So the key is how to define success. If your definition stems only from your wins when you play, your successes may be few and far between.
I try to have all my players learn a simple formula which will not only help them with their success and confidence in tennis, but in everything they do, from school to their jobs, and their relationships with their family and other people. I first heard this formula from Jim Loehr, a noted psychologist from Denver, CO., about five years ago and I have used it ever since. If you can answer “yes” to each of the following five statements at the end of a match, lesson, or practice session, you have been successful and your confidence will grow.
I put out 100 per cent effort today. I gave it all I had.
No matter what your sport t or activity, there is a basic law with which everyone is familiar; “You get back what you gave out.” If you give out 50%, you will get back 50% worth of results. It’s the law. Sometimes, we don’t give 100% to protect our ego. It’s so important to remember, “all out every time.”
I maintained and sustained a positive mental attitude.
It’s been said over and over again, that success in every endeavor is based on attitude rather than technical expertise. A positive mental attitude is one key ingredient for becoming a success and building confidence. Feeling good about yourself and your progress is based on a positive attitude. Smile and enjoy what you are doing. Avoid frustration as it builds negative emotion and feelings. Remember, your thoughts control your feelings, so keep your thoughts positive.
There is a tendency in all of us to want instant skill. (Un)Fortunately, anything that’s good in life takes time and effort to learn. Be patient; avoid anger and negativism that occurs from being angry. Remember, easy does it. A little at a time. As you become a better player, improvement comes slower. Be patient.
I allowed myself to make mistakes.
Throughout our whole life, we learn more from our mistakes than from most any form of learning, making corrections from our mistakes and forgetting the mistakes quickly. You will always move towards that which you think about the most. If we dwell on our mistakes, we actually move toward that which we don’t want. Learn from your mistakes, and then forget them
I accept full responsibility for me today.
What I did and did not do is a result of me and me alone.
Let me know what you think about the 5 Keys and how they would, or do, affect your game…