HOW TO TALK TO YOUR CHILD AFTER A LOSS

HOW TO TALK TO YOUR CHILD AFTER A LOSS

by: Matt Vaughn, PsyD | Professional Tennis Coach | Doctor of Psychology

Many years of traveling with players to tournaments has shown me that many (if not most) parents don’t know the most effective way to talk to their child after a loss. The way parents respond and talk to their child after a tough loss often causes significant detriment to the child’s performance and mental fortitude in future matches. Many fellow coaches know this, since they’ve witnessed a large variety of parent-player relationships and have noted the differences in outcome, but parents are often unaware. It appears all too tempting for parents to analyze the tennis component of the match immediately afterward and offer their critique: “Why didn’t you hit more shots to their backhand?” “You can’t win by not going for your shots.” “All you had to do was ____________.” Fill in the blank as you please. Or even worse, “This is getting ridiculous! You can’t keep playing like that.” “Now you really need to do well in your next tournament.”

Talking to your child in this way will cause him or her to focus primarily on short-term results. The player will feel immense pressure from the parents (even if the child denies feeling pressure), and won’t be able to perform even close to their potential.

The most effective way for players to approach their tennis development is with a long-term vision. Obsessing over winning and short-term results inhibits their ability to work on what is necessary to improve and perform at their best. If the child wins, of course let him enjoy the moment. Focus on all the hard work he put in to reach the victory. But when he loses, let him feel the emotions. Gently tell that him it’s okay to feel sad or frustrated. Be empathetic and consider giving a hug. After a few minutes, or however long it takes for the initial and heightened painful emotions to begin to subside, ask what happened in the match. Do not talk about the tennis aspects during this time—the focus should be on the psychological. Did he lose concentration? Did he become frustrated or angry, causing a downward spiral and lots of errors? Was he distracted by his opponents behavior or poor line calls? Through this calm conversation, he can reflect on what happened psychologically and will be able to generate ideas of what can be worked on going forward. He now has an important short-term goal to focus on that is part of the long-term vision. The painful loss becomes an opportunity for growth.

When the time is right, after the child has had time to reflect on what happened psychologically, the coach will talk to the child about the tennis aspects. In almost all situations it’s better for the parents to leave the tennis part of the discussion to the coaches.

INJURIES ARE NOT SETBACKS

INJURIES ARE NOT SETBACKS

by: Matt Vaughn, PsyD from ProWorld Tennis Academy | Professional Tennis Coach | Doctor of Psychology

If you have read earlier articles of mine, you’re probably aware that I’m fond of the chess and tai chi champion, Josh Waitzkin. I want to discuss and expand on an area he briefly touched in The Art of Learning.

When it comes to reaching high levels of tennis, there are clear differences between what it takes to be a decent player, what it takes to be good, what it takes to be great, and what it takes to be near and at the top. If your goal is to be mediocre, you don’t have to do too much more than other players with that same goal—practice a couple hours a day, do a decent amount of fitness, and put a lot of effort into your matches. Do this and you’ll probably become an okay player. But, if you want to maximize your potential and have chances to be at the top, you need a different mindset. Injuries, usually disguised as frustrating and disappointing moments, are often wonderful opportunities to get exponentially better and improve important areas of your game otherwise neglected.

Occasional injuries are inevitable when practicing at a high level and playing a full tournament schedule. Most people view injuries as setbacks. From my experience, most players who get injured, whether a sprained ankle, pulled muscle, torn ligament, or other injury, take time off and don’t do much of anything. If the legs weren’t affected, they might run to stay in shape, but that’s about it. Most of this time, however, seems to be used to watch television and play on the phone.

I have strong feelings that a different mindset is needed to get near or at the top of the game. To become the best, your mind must always be searching for ways to improve, even when injured. After an injury, get on the court the next day. Figure out how to use your current situation (with the injury) to enhance other parts of your game. If you’re unable to run or move well, work obsessively on your serve, hit thousands of volleys, or drill your forehand or backhand, whichever is weaker, standing in place until it gets better—search and experiment with ways to make that stroke better. If you injured something that prevents you from hitting certain shots, go on the court (if you can do so without exacerbating the injury) and work on another area that isn’t affected by the injury. Take these moments to improve parts of your game that you might otherwise neglect. Imagine coming back from injury with a 25% or more improvement in your serve, volley-game, forehand, backhand, agility, footwork, flexibility, or strength.

Of course there are times when your body needs rest to heal, or simply to recover from a rigorous tournament schedule. If that’s the case, make sure you rest, but use those moments to improve the mental or tactical aspects of your game. Seek out help with your mental game and/or watch YouTube videos of professional matches to study how they construct points. What other areas can you improve during this time to help you maximize game? You might be surprised how many you can think of.

Most importantly, make sure you come off an injury as a better player than when the injury happened, whether the injury lasts for a few days or multiple months. Injuries and periods of necessary rest are not setbacks—they are moments that separate the decent and good players from the great and world-class.

 

A TRUE UNDERSTANDING OF THE GAME

A TRUE UNDERSTANDING OF THE GAME

By: Cyril Saulnier from ProWorld Tennis Academy | Professional Program Director

While previously coaching two of the best junior players in the world, Naomi Osaka and Sonia Kenin, at the time ranked 190 WTA and 11 ITF, respectively, and traveling with them to many junior tournaments, I noticed that young players tend to forget the fundamentals of tennis: strategy and tactics. Even more alarming, many players don’t know the difference between the two. The terms strategy and tactics are used interchangeable, leading to a critical lapse in developing a competitively smart tennis player.

Strategy is the overall plan to win a match against a specific opponent and is based of a player’s personal game style. This game style is developed around what a player is physically capable of, strengths and weaknesses in his or her shot-making, movement, and temperament. Tactics are the shot combinations a player with a specific game style uses to implement their strategy.

Technique, athleticism, and mental toughness are important, but understanding the game of tennis is much more essential. The best players not only possess excellent technique and mental fortitude, but they successfully combine tennis strategy with tactical solutions. Before the match, they know exactly how to build the game—using their strength against an opponent’s weakness. Experienced players have deep knowledge of their own game style. They are as intimately familiar with their own strengths and weaknesses, and how to make the best of both, as they are about their opponent’s game. You may have great technique and tremendous ball-striking ability, but if you do not execute them properly at the right time, it will not allow you to win points.

Some players, juniors especially, hit hard and exert an inefficient amount of energy until they are worn out physically. Others will run their opponents into the ground using sound tactics and mental acumen until their opponent’s game breaks down. The latter player is executing a well-define plan—they are using their strategy. In order to be an elite player and world class strategist, you need to be aware of what works, when it works, and why it is working. Very few players ask themselves these questions, and even fewer truly understand it—blind to, or refusing to recognize, its importance.

You often hear that “timing is everything,’ and in a competitive match, timing can make the difference between winning and losing, grand slam triumph, and heartbreak and regret. The key is to know the best time to implement, adapt, and adjust your strategy. Even if you decide on a strategy before the match and realize at some point that it’s not working, don’t stubbornly keep trying it. Many players fall victim to their own ego and one-dimensional styles to make the change necessary to turn the momentum of the match in their favor. On the other end of the spectrum is the player that immediately switches tactical gears after the first sign of trouble, even if its just bad luck, a tough passing shot from an opponent, or a loose service game on their part. Often times, the decision to change requires critical observation from the player. Is the game plan not working because of the opponent’s superior play, or lack of execution? Asking yourself this simple question can make life much easier for you. If the answer is that your own execution is faltering, you need to restore technical order in your game. If the answer is your opponent’s superior player, then you need to restore tactical order by improving your patterns, creating and seizing opportunities, and disrupting your opponents flow.

Tennis is not only a game of hitting the ball, but a game of brains…at a certain level, every player is talented and can hit the ball well. So what separates the elite best from most other players? Strategy and tactics—plus the mental alertness to adapt them during the heat of battle.

HOW TO GET PLAYERS TO IMPLEMENT IN MATCHES WHAT THEY ARE WORKING ON IN PRACTICE

HOW TO GET PLAYERS TO IMPLEMENT IN MATCHES WHAT THEY ARE WORKING ON IN PRACTICE

by: Matt Vaughn, PsyD from ProWorld Tennis Academy | Professional Tennis Coach | Doctor of Psychology

It is no surprise that players want to win when they play tournaments, but an obsessive focus on winning often severely hinders the development of their game and ability to improve. Tennis requires the development of finely tuned skills in many areas: forehand, backhand, serve, and volley technique, footwork patterns and movement, concentration, confidence, emotional control, shot-selection, strategy, and tactics. These areas are supposed to be continually improved in practice and then, hopefully, implemented during matches. Unfortunately, this proves challenging for many players. Over the years I’ve frequently seen coaches and parents frustrated when their player (or child) doesn’t seem able or willing to implement during tournaments what is being worked on in practice. I want to give some advice on how to help a player make this necessary change.

When training to be an elite tennis player and maximize your potential, it’s important to realize the difference between being in a competition state versus a building stage. During a competition state, the focus is on trying your best to win the match—using any tools at your disposal to get the job done and come away with the victory. But sometimes its important to have a time period for just building and improving. When you’re in these building moments, the right mindset is crucial. These matches need to be used purely as opportunities to get better—improving strengths, eliminating weaknesses, altering technique, and focusing on “playing the right way”—the way that is aligned with the player’s and coach’s long-term vision for their game. The focus cannot always be on winning—because if so, it will be impossible to make the necessary improvements to maximize potential and reach the top. Professor Cheng Man-Ching (1902-1975), considered one of the greatest Tai Chi masters in history, refers to this willing to sacrifice winning for improvement and focusing on a long-term vision “investing in loss.”

Unfortunately, too few junior players, and even professionals, appear willing to invest in loss—they continually make the same mistakes repeatedly during matches by reverting back to old, ineffective habits. Top coaches rarely make the mistake of not understanding the importance of utilizing building stages during tournaments (although it does happen), but many parents are unaware. If parents do not help send the message to the player that winning is not important during a building stage, the coach will be fighting even more of an uphill battle. Needless to say, step one is for coaches AND parents to understand the difference between competition states and building stages, and why building stages are necessary for maximum improvement and results.

Why are some players often unwilling or unable to implement in matches what they have been working on in practice?

Before fixing the issue, its necessary to first understand why its so hard for players to submit to the learning process and invest in loss. If this is not crystal clear in your mind, it will be challenging to deliver an effective message to the player. Players often attach part of their self-esteem and self-worth to their tennis results. If they win, they feel good about themselves as a person, and feel bad when they lose.

Players feel external pressure from their fellow tennis peers, who will often make comments such as, “How could you lose to him?”, “Don’t worry, you’ll beat her easily?”, or “What is your ranking?” These comments are just the tip of the iceberg of the pressure players put on one another. External pressure frequently comes from parents as well (even when parents don’t believe they are a source of pressure) and internal pressure from the player’s own insecurities. Many players are so heavily focused on the judgment of others that their primary objective, usually unconscious, is to look good in the eyes of their peers, parents, and coaches. When players get into a match, they stop focusing on implementing what they have been working on in practice and become consumed with winning. They are afraid to stop old habits because those habits are comforting. If a player is concerned with winning during a building stage, the body tightens up and reverts back to the old way of playing. They don’t learn from their mistakes—practicing and playing matches is motivated mainly because they just want to win. They have a short-term versus long-term vision. Refer to point # 6 in Improving Our Coaching To Help Players Reach Their Potential for more information on having a long-term versus short-term vision.

How can you get players to invest in loss?

The goal is to help the player understand the purpose of investing in loss, how well it will work, and to understand and overcome the fears getting in the way. How can you do this effectively? First, it’s important to explain to them the difference between a competition state and a building stage. Make the distinction clear. Let them know that you, as their coach or parent, are not concerned with winning during a building stage. The player needs to truly believe that you don’t care if they win—that the sole purpose of the match is to work on their game. If the players is especially resistant, do not hesitate to tell them that they will probably lose while implementing what is necessary to get better. Explain to them the importance of having a long-term versus short-term vision. Consider asking them if they had the ability to look into the future and trade months and months worth of first-round losses for winning the sweetest and biggest tournament they could imagine (perhaps even a grand slam), would they take the deal? The answer will invariably be a resounding, “YES.”

After being clear with the player, and making sure the parents are on the same page, use your relationship with him or her to ease the fears preventing them from “playing the right way” during matches. Let them know that you are aware of what they might be thinking or fearing. Tell them you understand that they are feeling scared to look dumb, lose, and be judged by others, but that it’s the best and fastest way to get exponentially better and reach their goals. Talk to them about giving into the learning process and doing the right thing without reverting back to old habits. Help them realize that most people do not realize what it takes to be the best—and that you and the player are a team, working together to reach greatness. State confidently and frequently that it does not matter what others think and promise them it will be worth it in the long run. And again, make it clear with your entire heart that you are not concerned with the result of the match—you just want them to work on the right things. Let them know that it will be tough at first, but you will support them endlessly and that it will get easier each match. Tell them to not worry about looking bad on the path to greatness, as the results will come soon enough. As said by one of my favorite masters on effective learning, Josh Waitzkin, “Great ones are willing to get burned time and time again as they sharpen their swords in the fire.”

Summer Tennis Camps – Tennis Fitness – Player Results – ProWorld Tennis Academy

Summer Tennis Camps – Tennis Fitness – Player Results – ProWorld Tennis Academy

PROWORLD TENNIS ACADEMY

World renowned coaches will deliver professional instruction and drive our athletes to reach their maximum potential.

The training atmosphere created by our inspiring team of coaches and hard working athletes from around the world is unmatchable.

What better place to train than South Florida? With year long sunshine, beautiful beaches and Miami just around the corner. It’s no wonder Delray Beach is the tennis capital of the world and home to many of the top tennis pros.

LEARN MORE

 

SUMMER TENNIS CAMPS

ProWorld’s Academy Program raises the bar and sets a new training standard in group training environments.
The customized plans made for each individual athlete are unmatched. This program is designed even for the most demanding tennis players, aiming for the highest goals.

LEARN MORE

 

TENNIS FITNESS

At ProWorld our athlete’s fitness regime is crucial to their development. We place the same amount of importance to fitness as we do to tennis.
We believe, that in order to be a successful athlete, it is essential to coordinate a balance with the technical, tactical, physical, mental and nutritional areas of training.

LEARN MORE

@olivia_estelle_smith and @lb2616 working hard during the fitness session with Coach Ben from @espsports_train ?????‍♀️

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR PLAYERS!

This girl in on ?. Second win in two weeks! Congratulations to Laura Buchs on winning the Boca Raton March Championship USTA Level 7 today ?? @lb26161 @usta #proworldtennis

 

Laura Buchs

 

Our player Alyssa Mayo won today the Guatemala ITF Grade 4 in doubles! Congratulations ? and… as Coach Nael says… Vamooos ??

 

 

ProWorld Tennis is your premier tennis academy for juniors, adults and aspiring professional tennis players located in Delray Beach, Florida.

CALL 561-706-1601

Delray Beach Open ATP Tennis Tournament – ProWorld Tennis Academy

Delray Beach Open ATP Tennis Tournament – ProWorld Tennis Academy

ProWorld Tennis Academy

Our player Alyssa Mayo won today the Guatemala ITF Grade 4 in doubles! Congratulations ? and… as Coach Nael says… Vamooos ??

Visit our Facebook Page

Jack Sock receives walkover in Sunday’s final

The American won his third ATP World Tour singles title when top seed Milos Raonic withdrew before taking the court for their final due to a hamstring tear in his right leg. The unfortunate end to the tournament gives Sock his second ATP World Tour crown of 2017, having prevailed last month at the ASB Classic (d. Sousa). Sock didn’t drop a set in claiming victory this week. He improves to 11-1 this season and is projected to move to a career-high No. 18 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday.

READ MORE

Tennis TV

Fri Feb 24 02:17:52 +0000 2017

Vamos, Delpo ✌️️ The Tower of Tandil slips past Dzumhur in set one in Delray Beach. Watch set 2 Live ? :… https://t.co/pWLv6pztu3

 

Read more …

Delray Beach stringers reveal crazy low tension – Baseline (satire)

http://news.google.com Thu, 23 Feb 2017 19:43:01 GMT

Baseline (satire)Delray Beach stringers reveal crazy low tensionBaseline (satire)Tecnifibre is the official stringing service of the ATP 250 event in Delray Beach, and they’ve had a busy week so far. On Monday, they strung 80 frames on a day that saw …

 

Read more …

Two artists commissioned to make Delray Beach Open more colorful

Agata Ren, of Boca Raton, used a real tennis net in her installation at the center’s entrance. She weaved the words, “Delray Beach Open,” into the net using a yellow fabric and added yellow, blue and pink tarps behind it. She used yellow and blue because those are the colors of the championship, and pink because she wanted the installation to pop.

READ MORE

TRAIN AT PROWORLD TENNIS ACADEMY

World renowned coaches will deliver professional instruction and drive our athletes to reach their maximum potential.

ProWorld Tennis Academy has a hand in creating champions.Imagine training next to a Grand Slam player? Our inspiring environment has made ProWorld one of the top training locations for professional tennis players during their on and off seasons.

Proworldteam

 

contact us

651 Egret Circle
Delray Beach, Florida 33444, USA
Schedule a Visit
Try a Free Training Session

Chat with an Advisor!

Request Consultation

Please fill out the form below and a specialized expert will follow up within 24 hours.



Request a brochure

We offer downloadable and printed brochures covering every aspect of our academy.

Get it now
Call Chat Consult Brochure
CONNECT WITH US

Pin It on Pinterest