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Ritualizing Your Game

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  • Ritualizing Your Game

    Would love your thoughts on my article, "Ritualizing Your Game"

  • #2
    Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
    Would love your thoughts on my article, "Ritualizing Your Game"
    Hi John, Do you have any examples of key images that players have used? My thinking is that it might be helpful for my daughter during match play but I want to make sure I don't go overboard.

    Lately, she has been working on coiling and sometimes loses this during matches. Should I just start with a couple of images of her coiling?

    Maybe incorporate the pictures as part of her training process. Then keep adding as we move along.

    I just worry that if I give her a catalogue of images to start she will get lost and then it will be too much for a fourteen year old girl during a match.

    Any thoughts?


    • #3
      Yeah one at a time sounds great. But have here close her eyes and create it for herself. Ask her what it looks like in her mind's eye--and feels like. Ask her if she can previsualize it when you are feeding balls.


      • #4
        I have always assumed rituals in sport have their roots in religion. Most religious have ridiculously repetitive rituals and I guess these have somehow manifested themselves into sport. I think rituals in tennis are more a modern thing because you did't see such long and repetitive rituals in the classic era.

        Most players are just taught to take their time so as to gather themselves and think between points. That's what I always teach my students. I discourage endless ball bouncing and try to restrict students to one or two bounces. In club tennis, endless ball bouncing just gets on everyones nerves, as does continuous towelling down.

        Stan Smith did one ball-bounce before serving. Nastase did one ball bounce and sometimes none. Each players took and couple of seconds to serve; Nastase sometimes not even that long.

        For me, confidence trumps everything. Lew Hoad was supremely confident, as was Becker. As a very good coach once told me: "There is no such thing as overconfidence, just complacency". I like to get my players to visualise confidence and to override negative thoughts.
        Last edited by stotty; 01-27-2020, 12:07 PM.


        • #5
          I take it you don't meditate! Don't know if it came from religion. But I do believe it works for many players, especially if they are plagued by nerves. Saw it in my own game for sure!


          • #6
            I am probably referring to tempo more than rituals. Some players take an age to get ready. I just don't like the endless pre-point preparation of many of the players. Roger doesn't seem to ritualise all that much in terms of tics and twitches, Sampras was great like that; Borg too. I am sure Roger visualises although, ironically, in his match against Millman a few days ago he admitted to, at 4-8 down in the tie-break, thinking about how he was going to explain his defeat in the press conference. Now that's what I call multitasking; preparing a losing presser in your mind while still trying to win the match.

            It was actually an extremely revealing comment by Roger. It shows a player's mind can be in two places at once even in a massive crisis.


            • #7
              Loehr says 16 seconds is all you need.


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