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Improving And Customizing Self - Talk
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Improving And Customizing Self  -  talk

Language – is globally considered as one of the most effective tools to control behavior. While talking out loud is mostly used as the way to control others’ actions, talking to yourself or self-talking, is crucially effective in critical situations. Tennis analysts describe self-talk as intensive thinking or making both internal and external decisions. This kind of dialogue with yourself provides you with a chance to locate, identify a problem, as well as a solution to it. And all this is executed in the way of creating receptions and beliefs. When being on court, the way of you talking to yourself needs to be well thought-out so that to facilitate the peak performance and remove all negative thoughts you may have.

The following hints will help you with every-day identification or problems that may arise and improve your self-talk where possible. Do not forget though that any tennis player is unique and the following information is pretty basic. You need to take advice and modify it as to your individuality. Improving self-talk always allows you to overview what’s happening inside. Make sure you discuss with your qualified psychologist or your coach after reading this.

How to identify self-talk

  1. You should understand what you are saying yourself. During the match you should quickly create a list of all your thoughts and statements that were born in your head as well as think of consequences of thinking those thoughts.
  2. Try to estimate your typical way of thinking and words you are saying reacting on different occasions.
  3. If there are no TV operators broadcasting the match, have someone you trust record it so you could watch your reactions afterwards.

How to improve self-talk

  1. First of all you need to determine when and why you may start to talk to yourself in a negative manner. Without knowing the edge you are unlikely to make any changes.
  2. Once you realize you have a negative self-talk, make sure you interrupt it right from the spot whether with a visual aid, inspiring phrase or action. You will experience negative self-talk several times during the match and it is very important that you interrupt it until it got worse.
  3. If you come up with a negative statement born in your head, try to make it look positive instead. For instance, replace "I'll mess up" with "I'll try to".
  4. Avoid self-destructive thoughts like "I'm a bad player" or "I have to win every match" as they are all invalid. You need to work on refusing such negative and mistaken beliefs and statements to clear your mind and build positive self-talk.

Without inspiring yourself from the inside, what self-talk in tennis actually does, you will be always nervous about every point and every action you do on court. Thus, your performance will get worse and worse. If someone would notice you talking to yourself, do not worry about looking weird: just tell them you are enjoying the conversation.


Street Talk

Tennis is a really challenging, with competition fierce, I can see how self talk would help to enhance your results.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Hey, really interesting insight into what happens in a tennis players thinking. It's a bit like the first battle that needs to be won is in the mind before one actually takes on the battle of the tennis game itself. The principles in your article could probably be applied to other important challenges we have to tackle in life:)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Hey Luka4 I have just read your article and found it rich and informative Thank you

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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