Developing routines which can prepare a player for a point is one of the key tasks lying behind tennis mental trainings. Undoubtedly, anyone who loves watching tennis knows what Rafael Nadal customarily does before his serves and returns or what Roger Federer or Serena Williams are up to between points. And, for sure, all tennis players have heard about the famous 16-second cure which can be seen in almost every match on the WTA or ATP tour. Routines are an essential part of tennis and we want our players to know about them, to understand them and develop them in their own games.
We believe that the psychological gains behind them may be multiple and diverse. They can be key in triggering the feeling of control over the player's actions and their sports setting and essential for generating a sense of security, crucial in stress management.
Routines are a great tool for sustaining focus over extended stretches of time. When distractions creep in, they are very effective as a refocusing strategy. They make players trust their bodies and execute with greater automaticity, with greater feel. It is very frequent for players to lose themselves in the familiarity of their routines.
These benefits are only some of the most important functions of routines. Every player can take away from them something useful and specific for themselves.