Confidence and momentum in tennis are close cousins. When you have momentum, you have squared confidence. Players feel a sensation of excitement when they have momentum by their side — this is a huge boost to your mental game of tennis.
Riding The Waves Of Confidence
While momentum can give your mind game a boost, it has to be contained or it can lead to making mental mistakes on the court. Also, when you feel like you are losing momentum in a match for your opponent, your mind game can get into the tank. Therefore, you have to watch out for some of the dangers that go along with this powerful confidence booster in tennis.
Momentum in tennis can cause excitement or the sensation of playing well. This is a good thing for most players. The added rush of excitement can cause the release of adrenaline in the bloodstream. You get a boost of energy and you feel pumped, juiced and focused. For the tennis player’s experience, they interpret this as a very positive feeling. They welcome this feeling when playing well, but they have to throttle an extra boost of energy.
The Right Momentum
You have to watch out for the added shot of adrenaline that comes from the momentum. You don’t want to cause you to play too aggressively or change your shooting. Experienced tennis professionals know when to choke back if the adrenaline bugs bug. Amateurs experience the same physiology when pumped to momentum. You hit the big backhand to get yourself a break point in the match. Your extra excitement and adrenaline helps you focus more, but you have to take into account the effects of adrenaline or you will swing to the moon.
Another potential problem with momentum is when you have it and it’s gone. Confidence can turn into panic during a match when your opponent turns momentum in support. Often I win a number of games only to have no other win for the rest of the set.”
Momentum and great leads have advantages and disadvantages. Your advantage in tennis is when you fly to the big lead in the first set. My opponent was devastated and unable to compete with you. On the other hand, big leads for some players can cause big crashes with their mental play. I also think this has a lot to do with the “comfort zone,” which I have studied extensively, but will continue this topic for other articles.
If you’re out for a big lead with momentum on your side, you may get complacent or protect your lead. The player who protects their lead – sits in their lead. They start playing defensively – not wanting to drop points, instead continuing to play offensively and trying to win points. Most likely, if you have the habit of building big leads only to lose the set, you are protecting your lead and giving momentum back to your opponent.
Therefore, my Inner Game Tennis tip for today is to continue playing on offense. Play aggressive tennis. Don’t sit on your big lead.