Setting Realistic Expectations

Tennis is a game littered with opportunities to err and to make mistakes, even the top pros at the highest level make mistakes. What raises them above the average player is their acceptability that making mistakes is part of the game, and they quickly move on.

When you are playing at a social level normally more errors are made than the amount of winners. Tennis coaches regularly practice with their students that it is foolish for players to get upset with every error you make.

If you get too upset making standard errors that are part of a normal game, then essentially you are lying to yourself but not accepting the reality. By setting unrealistic expectations and acting accordingly, most players are sending a message over that this is unusual and they are normally better.

Take Aways For Your Game

Generally speaking you need to be aware that realistic expectations can only help you to improve. It is counter-productive when you set your standards so high that you cannot achieve them on a regular basis.

If your expectations are unrealistically high, then you need a system change rather than just a short term fix.

What Are Good Expectations?

Perhaps the only sensible expectation a player should have is just to do their best, no matter what you are trying to accomplish. So for instance if you are working on your backhand you could expect to execute the shot with your new technique as often as possible, not every time. But at the same time don’t judge yourself by the outcome to harshly.

These type of expectations will give you the best possible chance of improving your backhand fairly quickly and also more importantly enjoying it.

Create Action Steps

  • Write down expectations that make sense for your game.

Spend a little time thinking what expectations would be good for you, and write them down, then compare the list to what you currently expect of yourself. In most cases there is a big difference between the two. So in example hitting a serve or executing a certain game tactic, accept the outcome generously.

  • Constantly remind yourself of the new expectations.

To have success in revamping your expectations, you really need to change your subconscious. And in particular have a different experience on court. This may be achieved by the constant reminder of what you want to expect from yourself.

Try to instill a sense of caring about the day and trying your best to accomplish your game plan. Stay positive and accept what you have managed to accomplish, there is always another day when more improvements can be made.

Once you can do this on a regular basis and start to feel better on the court with this new mindset, you are progressing towards achieving a new subconscious belief.