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Five Tips to Building Unstoppable Confidence and Self Belief

Having confidence is the key to achieving many great things in life. It’s about the attitude you choose towards life and situations. Its also the way you think and feel about yourself.

confidence level

Maybe you lost it somewhere along the way – a few lost tennis matches, a failed relationship, unhappy about your appearance or a loss of job.

Loss of confidence stems from feelings of failure, disappointment, doubt and low self esteem.

Here’s five points to how you can get it back quickly:

1. Focus on the positive. Stop looking for what’s wrong and see whats right. Look for the best in things and people and if you do something well, then compliment yourself on it.

2. Self talk – the voice in your head, the one that wakes up with you in the morning, stays with you all day and goes to sleep with you, yep that one! The way you talk to yourself is probably the most crucial element in how you feel about life and in gaining confidence.

3.Go back in time to something special you achieved, something that you really had to work hard for.

When I’m working with an athlete who might have lost some confidence, I like to show them video footage of a big match or event they won. This brings back good memories and feelings of positive energy.

I tell them to look at it at least 3 times a day for a week (Coaches – try this with your athletes). I also tell them to keep a photo next to their bed, reminding them of that special moment (trophy in hands etc..).

That person will see that they’ve done if before and they can certainly do it again – maybe even better!

4. Surround yourself with people that build you up. People that want the very best for you. Get rid of negative influences.

5. Believe you are Awesome (because you are), tell yourself as many times in a day as you can and remember…whatever makes you smile is worth doing over and over again.

Confidence is a state of mind – it’s a choice.

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How Some of the Best Athletes in the World Handle Nerves

Handling nerves: How some of the best athletes in the world handle nerves. Here’s 6 great tips to get you ready to perform!

Do you get nervous before a tennis match or before competing? Yes? Then good, because even the very best athletes in the world get nervous too!

handle nerves

Many times I’ve been in the gym or locker room and witnessed players like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Rafa and Roger Federer warming up before a match and let me tell you, they aren’t as relaxed as you’d might think. Actually in Rafa’s book he mentions that he has at least 4 toilet stops before going onto the court for a match!

In fact, I’ve worked with two world number one athletes in both tennis and squash and witnessed nerves first hand.

Many times I get asked “Allistair, how do I get rid of nerves?” and my answer is “Why do you want to get rid of something so vital to performing well?”

It’s a mindset: like most things, it’s a state of mind, and nerves can be used as your fuel to fight. First thing you need to do is change your mindset about them and start seeing them in a positive light.

Many people see nerves as a ‘negative’ thing or something that can hurt their performance. The reason being is that they have told to think that way. However, to most world-class athletes, it’s seen as a ‘ready to go’ adrenaline that’s a necessity to their performance. What these elite athletes also do incredibly well is keep a confident and calm composure on the outside – they never look nervous and hide it well.

6 ways to handle nerves:

1. See them as a sign from your body that you’re ready to compete, it’s the positive ‘ready to go’ adrenaline.

2. Even the very best athletes in the world get them before a match. Nerves are telling you that something great is going to happen out there today!

3. Have a routine before a match that helps you ‘channel those nerves’ – some athletes use music to help them beat the nerves (Rafa, Azarenka, Kuznetsova).

4. Your opponent is probably even more nervous than you, except the difference is that you know how to handle them better (unless they read this article as well!).

5. If you didn’t get nervous then what you were doing wouldn’t mean that much or be that special to you.

6. When competing, at the start of a match expect them. Give yourself the freedom to make some mistakes at the beginning. When you give yourself this passport, you will be ‘free to play’.

So my message is this: embrace nerves, change the way you see them and remember that even the champions get them. Emulate these champions by looking confident next time you walk out onto the court and know that you are ready to compete!

Remember, nerves are the fuel to perform!

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The Best Game Of Tennis Ever?

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A Tennis Coach from India Needs Advice

There is a message from a tennis coach from India. Please give him your advice.

I’m a coach from India. I have coached lot of students instead of that a girl in 13 years had a chance to became a very good player in her age category she playing well in practice but she can’t performed well in matches but important thing is she willingly came to practice but nowadays she take lot of leaves and get not interest in tennis how I cleared it please reply me because she is such a hard worker and good player right now she get some disturbed in it.

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An Open Letter to USTA! Three Easy Things to Improve American Tennis

David A. Haggerty, Chairman of the Board, CEO and President

David A. Haggerty, Chairman of the Board, CEO and President

An open letter to David A. Haggerty, Chairman of the Board, CEO and President of USTA and other USTA executives.

Yesterday, I was returning to Miami from a week long business trip to Asia. Usually, one has plenty of time to talk to your neighboring passenger. This time I had no one near me, but, I imagined, I had next to me a USTA executive who asked me what I always want to be asked. What can you suggest we do to improve tennis and our level as a tennis country?

Trying to be quick and succinct I quickly said: just three things, hoping he/ she will remember them and actually do something about it!.
1. Increase Match play.
2. Have designated tournaments where coaching is allowed.
3. Promote team tennis. Not only as a recreational but as competitive.

Match Play

The psychology involved in match play is so different than the one found in tournaments, and kids need depending on their level a lot of both. Just this evening as I try to register my son for a tournament, I actually wish I could register him for organized match play, and even though I live in Miami (98% of time great weather) it is NOWHERE to be found. In academies around the world and in US, a great part of the learning comes from match play. So, USTA executive? What are you going to do to make this happen? and truly understand that as a federation you drive the behavior of the parents and players? Why not drive them to have more match play, or in simpler terms increase the number of “hours of playing tennis, not in a tournament format.?”

Coaching in tournaments

As I am registering my son for a tournament, I also wish I could register him in a tournament where I could coach him, inside the court. He would then learn so much faster whatever he is trying to overcome or improve. Why? is this so foreign to us.? How is it that we deprive our kids of this simple solution for their improvement.? What is more important, why don’t we do it.? Absolutely everyone would benefit from it, and by the way in Spain these are common place.
As I ask this simple question, the USTA executive has a dumbfounded look and they I press again.
Why don’t we do this here? How hard can it be?

Team Tennis

Every psychologist worth his muster will tell you, if kids are to succeed, they need to be “part of something”. It does not matter how many hours a kid trains, who the coach is or where he plays. The key question is : Does the kid feel part of something bigger than himself in an individualized sport? The problem we face is that team tennis is not given the proper importance by the competitive coaches who FAIL, yes in capitals FAIL to understand how Team tennis is just as important as hitting a forehand for 6 hours a week. Why does the USTA not properly emphasize and refocus the great tool called Team tennis?

Thank you for listening USTA executive, I truly wish you heard what I just said.
( I can be reached at @palenquej).

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