Sometimes when you step out on the court you feel like everything is easy. You move effortlessly & you feel like even if you tried you wouldn’t even be able to miss the court. You have a little bit of a tickle in your stomach, but not too much. You’re excited, but it is still pleasant.
Then after that experience you try to get back to that experience. But on those other 364 days during the year it’s really difficult for you. So you visualize, you try to listen to calming music, some upbeat music or maybe even some heavy metal to get yourself fired up. But you are still not able to find that same feeling again.
The reality is if you ask the best tennis players in the world about their best ever performances they will tell you the thoughts, feelings and emotions going on where quite different. In other words they perform well with different thoughts, feelings and emotions going on. It’s not about finding a particular state of mind or a specific tension level and then you have the opportunity to perform well.
Remember that you do not win any tennis matches because you have the most calm inner state.
There is absolutely no need to be in the zone or chase the feeling of flow. Of course it is pleasant and it is nice to have a calm inner state, but remember that the best tennis players in the world are performing at totally different ends of the scale of arousal levels and totally well balanced tennis players are loosing matches for totally different reasons.
So performing well is less about how you feel, but a lot more about doing the right things. We associate to big of an importance on the way that we feel.
Performance is not determined by what you feel but what you do.