I really want to improve my confidence – High School Tennis Player

High School Sophomore Tennis player:

I am a high school sophomore tennis player and hold the #3 singles position on my team.  My coach tells me I have the skills to be #1 on the team, and to take my game to the next level.  Unfortunately, when I ask my coach to be specific about what I need to do differently or what skills I need to improve to compete for the #1 spot he is unable to give me specifics.  This is frustrating because I don’t know what I need to do to improve.  I really work hard every day to improve my game, but I don’t seem to make any improvements with my game because I do not know specifically what I should be working on. My frustration affects my confidence and desire to keep on going.  I know I need to set some goals, but not sure how to go about doing it or how to track whether or not I am being successful.  What should I do?

Signed,
Not sure what to do on the court…

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Coach John’s Answer:

Congratulations for taking the step to ask your coach for guidance.  The move suggests you are high motivated, but not sure how to get started.  Second, I understand why your confidence might be impacted if you are not receiving the coaching you desire to take your game to the next level.

Step #1: Ask your parents if it would be ok to get you some private lessons to identify where your weaknesses are.  Once you have the skills assessment completed ask your private coach to work with you to establish 2 long term goals. For example, “I would like to compete at the number #1 singles position during my junior high school season.”  The number two goal might be, “I would like to be the #1 singles tennis player in the conference during my senior year season.” These goals are far enough into the future that focused coaching and commitment to a practice program will give you a very good shot at making your dreams come true.

Step: #2: Ask your parents if it would be ok to explore finding you a mental game coach to help you with your mental game, track your performance improvements, and provide you with support and guidance as you embark on the journey of achieving your goals.  The mental game coach will help you with establishing an appropriate practice plan complete with a “success monitoring program.”

To learn more about how a Success Monitoring Program works, and the details behind establishing a vision statement, designing performance objectives, creating tools for keeping you motivated, establishing criteria for success tracking, and building confidence along the way please email me at jre@protexsports.com.  I am about to release a 12 week program entitled: The Mental Edge: Success Monitoring and Journal System designed exactly for this purpose.

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