Coach Samson Dubina US National Team Coach 4x USATT Coach of the Year

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Mental Strategies - Part 25

Feeling Moody? Read this article!

Be Happy
     At tournaments, some players are very happy and others are very disappointed. 
Is it the winning that changes the mood? 
Or is it the mood that changes the winning? 
     It could be both.  But in this article, I would like to address the fact that staying positive and cheerful and excited will help boost your confidence and help you play your best.  I feel that often the mood, before and during the match, really changes the outcome of the match.
     When you win a point, it’s ok to be happy about it.  It’s ok to be excited.  You did something right and you performed well.  Remember the way that you won points throughout the match and apply these same strategies throughout the match, especially in the crucial points.
     At tournaments, I need to be happy with my students.  If I’m coaching a student at a tournament and my student wins the first game 11-2, that is wonderful.  I need to rejoice with him and encourage him.  What can I say that will make him play better???  Nothing!  So what do I say…  Nothing.  I just tell him to keep his focus and continue to properly apply his strategy during every point.  If I begin to say…  “You didn’t use your backhand loop! You didn’t serve short!  You didn’t take your time between points!”  Then my student will play worse; this advice will mess him up.  As a coach, I must keep my student in a positive state of mind!
     The same is true when coaching yourself during matches – stay happy.  If you are doing well, stay positive, stay excited, and stay in the zone.  If you aren’t playing well, take your time between points and realistically reflect on what you did right and what you did wrong each and every point.
     If you lose a match, then take a short break before beginning the next match.  Going into your match with a sour attitude won’t boost your winning.  Keep winning in perspective, enjoy the game, enjoy the competition, and give your best.  Be Happy.