How To Relax For Peak Performance in Tennis

preparing in tennis
Getting nervous before or during a match is completely normal.

I lost many matches as a junior player only because I did not know how to level my state of mind while playing.

There were times when I embarrassed myself by losing to lower-ranked players when everybody who knew me expected me to win easily against them…
But, fortunately, over the years, I have become better at controlling not only my temperament on the court but also my internal emotions.

Here are some techniques that helped me (and still do) before and during tennis matches:

1. Control your breathing – do it slowly and deeply -visualize the air going in and then out.

2. Focus on the strings as soon as the point ends – try to clear your mind and keep your eyes on a particular spot – do not let your eyes shift for at least 10 seconds.

3. Relax your muscles – feel (imagine) your shoulders tensionless.

4. Walk slowly and with confidence.

5. If you have a ritual that makes you feel better (fixing your strings, pulling up your t-shirt sleeves, using the towel, drying your hands, etc.), stay with it.

6. Use positive talk: “I love this sport!”, “This is fun!”, “I enjoy playing!” etc.

7. One way of relaxing is to sing (in a very low voice) or hum your favorite song in between points.

8. Recall a time you played very well and were happy with your game.

You don’t have to do all these techniques at once during the match. Just pick the ones that work for you; I am sure you might already have one that helps you.

Cosmin Miholca

Cosmin Miholca

Certified Tennis Coach

Check out my work at WebTennis24 where I share with you my best video tennis lessons, drills and tips for players, coaches and tennis parents.

The Tennis Grip – Based on Feel

woman playing tennis
As a tennis coach, I noticed that the simpler
the instructions, the better.

One of the aspects of teaching tennis is knowing the correct grip for every tennis shot.
This subject has always puzzled me and the reason is that some tennis coaches tend to explain it in a too complicated way.

We have many names for the grips: semi-western, western, full-western, continental, eastern forehand, eastern backhand etc. Some coaches insist that certain parts of your palm should be positioned on specific areas of the racquet grip (base knuckle on the bevel 3, etc.).
Ask most of the tennis pros and they will tell you that they don’t even know nor care what grip name they use. They will tell you that they use the grip that FEELS RIGHT for a particular shot.

What does RIGHT means?

The grip should be something that feels comfortable for each player individually. The proper grip should be the way a player holds the racquet to give them a good combination of control and comfort which can translate into ball speed, consistency and accuracy.

An easy way to understand how to hold the racquet is to recognize what happens at contact with the ball… Considering that at contact the racquet should be facing (more or less) the target and the hand/racquet should be at a considerable distance from the body, begin understanding the grip by positioning the strings where the contact should be and hold the racquet in the most comfortable way at the grip. Then ask yourself: even though this feels right, will I be able to impart power and the desired spin on the ball?

In conclusion, the proper tennis grip is based on the FEEL, which means the way you hold the racquet should provide you with effortless power and control.

Cosmin Miholca

Cosmin Miholca

Certified Tennis Coach

Check out my work at WebTennis24 where I share with you my best video tennis lessons, drills and tips for players, coaches and tennis parents.