Routines in tennis are of key importance and our academy strongly believes in their beneficial effect for the stability of the player’s mental game. In order to easily get themselves into an optimal mental state which enables them to play their best game, every player needs to rely on numerous routines. More specifically, players should have at their disposal pre-game routines, a set of match routines aa well as post-match ones. Altogether, they comprise players’ mental game which is a selection of actions, thoughts and ideas helping them to isolate themselves from the outside world, effectively manage energy levels and maintain point-by-point focus.
One of the best models of the between-points routine, widely used by professional tennis players, including Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova or Victoria Azarenka, is the 16 Seconds’ Cure devised by a sports psychologist Jim Loehr. Due to its prevalence on the WTA and ATP tour and its incredible mental potential, we want to see our players use it with consistency. Naturally, its effective mastery is by no means an easy feat and as everything of value it takes time and a great deal of effort but it is part and parcel of the player’s overall development.
All its three stages of positive physical response, relaxation response and preparation response can largely contribute to the player’s improvement on every level, both in on and off-the-court settings. The first stage significantly improves body language and enhances a confident image, in addition it consists in quick letting go of the past, followed by a point analysis leading to game-constructive conclusions. The second teaches the player how to relax and forget. The final stage is crucial for the development of tactics and task-oriented focus. Overall, its major goal is the maintenance of mental and emotional stability throughout the whole match.
We believe that players should work on their mental games day in day out and train their minds for optimal on-court performance and self-control.