Possibly one of the biggest myths in tennis is that tennis is 90% mental. This may possibly be the case from the professional player, but as for the average social player nothing could be further from the truth.
Where Does This Myth Originate From
Perhaps TV pundits caused this myth to be bandied around, or perhaps it is the actual players being interviewed after a tough game. When players are in such a situation they often talk about the fact that for them the mental part plays a huge role in improving, this is 100% true.
For a top player tennis does become 90% mental as they have often already perfected their technique and it is the mental side that they focus on.
What most people do not understand is that these players have already great technique and great footwork so what is left for them to focus on?
What This Means To The Social Player
A club player just needs to keep on perfecting his technique, you can only really improve your stroke play by constantly focusing on it.
There are actually 4 stages of the learning process that everybody has to go through.
The 4 Stages Of Learning
In this stage you may have a bad forehand for example, but you may not know that you have a bad forehand because you you do not know what a good forehand looks like. This is normally the beginners stage.
Once you have played for a bit, you will begin to realise that your forehand is poor, because you start comparing yourself to others. This is when players start to work on improving their forehand. Quite often many players stay at this stage because of no coaching or bad practice.
After you have worked on that bad forehand and you can really hit a good shot for the first time, you realise you can only keep doing that if you focus on what you are doing. However, if you never reach this stage where you can hit a good forehand shot, then you will get frustrated and probably stop working on the shot.
This is tennis utopia, where every tennis player wants to be. At this stage you can hit a great forehand without thinking about it. This is a great feeling but a lot of people make the mistake on not realising that the player has worked really hard to achieve this.
Forget about the myth that tennis is all about 90% mental, that is for the pro’s. Focus on your strokes with the correct information and drills and work in a hard and disciplined manner. Eventually you will see the improvements coming into your game and you can turn that weak forehand into an effective shot, and then enjoy the state of unconscious incompetence.