Tennis Mental Toughness and Resilience – What is it and do you have enough of it?Feb 07, 2022
NOTE: I am shooting straight out of my honesty gun today
Ok, I'm going to start off with a bold, but in my opinion very true statement – We are all getting soft! And our levels of resilience are dropping every decade.
There are a few reasons this is happening. Technology makes life easier, more accessible, and more convenient. Parents, tennis trainers, and coaches are not as hard on their players as they used to be, I see this every day.
Most people look for the fastest and easiest way to get something done, instead of doing things the right way, which more often than not is longer and harder.
Players, in general, are not exposing themselves to enough challenging situations in order to build on their resilience threshold. These reasons, in my opinion, lead to us being less resilient, our willingness to reach deep down into the places of anguish and temporary suffering for our own betterment is in my opinion becoming less and less common. This is not good for you as a tennis player.
I see this as such a major issue for our time now, but what is even more concerning is the thought of the generations to come.
Tennis Psychology, Tennis Mental Fitness, Tennis Mental Toughness. They all relate to your resilience capacity.
I remember as a young kid hearing older generations often comment on the younger generation's lack of resilience and how soft their attitudes were. At the time I thought they were just grumpy old people.
As time has passed by and I have seen a few generations go before me and a few coming behind me I now realize their comments (in my opinion) were and are true, or maybe I have just become one of the grumps myself (I’m not ruling that out :)
So what is resilience and why is it important for you as a tennis player?
Resilience is the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult situations. I am a student of resilience, I love learning about it and trying to improve it.
What I have learned is that resilience does not grow from just thinking tougher, it is a combination of a few things. Today though we are focusing on what I consider to be the main one for tennis players and that is physical and mental “Grit”
It is important for you to be resilient because as I am sure you can attest every time you walk on the court there is some level of adversity or challenge you need to handle and respond to, right?
Just think Rafa Nadal, two sets down in the 2022 Australian Open final and having the resilience capacity to absorb that and respond in a positive and proactive manner. Incredible!
And you know what, we all have that capacity, we just don’t expose ourselves to enough challenging situations and be willing to absorb them in order to increase our resilience threshold.
If I asked you how resilient you are out of 10 and you spent a few minutes thinking about it, how would you rate yourself? Hold your answer until the end….
Last year, I took some time and thought how can I help, I need to try and create some generational change. I reached out to a good friend Dr. Anthony Ross from Mentally Tough Tennis and together over a 6 month period we looked at ways we could help.
In order to help as many players as we can, we have just released a FREE webinar on Mental Toughness and Resilience for you to watch. This FREE webinar is designed to get players to understand what resilience is, why they need it and provide them with a way to test their resilience threshold, physically and mentally. Then give players 28 days of learning and working on improving their resilience threshold through our tutorials, activities, and challenges.
Listen to Anthony and me discussing Tennis Resilience in this FREE 30min webinar go 👉 HERE 👈
If you are interested in a Tennis Mental Resilience Program, we also designed you can check out the 28 Day Tennis Resilience Challenge
👉 HERE 👈
The young tennis players that I see doing well, have high levels of resilience and the players who compete on the professional tour all have to have high levels of resilience to get where they are. This needs to be maintained in order to stay at the top, talent and hard work are not enough.
Players need to be able to withstand, absorb and bounce back from adversity in order to keep moving forward.
Tennis Mental Toughness and Resilience
There are a few areas to focus on when we talk about resilience, things you should be aiming to learn and improve.
- Lack of exposure - Players are not exposing themselves to enough challenging situations. Building resilience is like practicing and improving any skill. If we are not working on it, it won’t get better! So the point here is; Expose yourself to situations that challenge you physically and mentally and be prepared for them. Young players in particular are not given the opportunity to enter these situations enough. As parents, coaches, tennis trainers, etc, we need to be willing to push tennis kids into these situations, explaining the benefits to them.
- Players Rollover too easily - When things get hard do you roll over and give in or do you truly fight with everything you have? Rolling over and giving up is the easiest option by such a long way, but there really is no positive gain doing this. It sucks the life right out of you every time and draws you further away from you what you need. Learning how to cope with challenging situations is what we all need, so be prepared to walk into them and be willing to push through longer than you would expect.
- Failing is bad - In my opinion failing is one of the best ways to build your resilience, it should make you aware that you are placing yourself in challenging situations and that’s where we get big gains. So be prepared to fail and learn as much as you can from the process.
- Not goal-focused - When you’re laser-focused on your goal you should be willing to do whatever it takes to reach it. That means you will be prepared to step into challenging situations day in day out. If you are not focused on your goal or maybe you do even have one, you won’t be willing to suffer!
Earlier I asked you how would rate your resilience threshold, what was your answer? Are you happy with that? Are You As Resilient As You Could Be?
Make the decision today to step up, expose yourself to challenges, absorb the tough moments and focus on what’s important to help get you through. Nothing bad comes from that, the only outcome can be positive and that is what we should be aiming for!
Hopefully, this shakes you up a bit and gets you willing to step up your resilience threshold.
Check out the FREE webinar click here or on the image below.