Tennis Mental Game: Breathe
Everyone talks about building a better mental game but the question is how do you practice it? We have some real ways you can! Let’s take a look at how this basic physical motion can make a significant impact on your mental game.
Using your diaphragm
Remember when you're taught to use your diaphragm in a yoga class or when you were in a chorus? Well, it's back and is worth practicing off the court so you can bring it on the court.
Place one hand on your upper chest and the other just below your rib cage. This will allow you to feel your diaphragm move as you breathe. Breathe in slowly through your nose so that your stomach moves out against your hand. The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible.
How to practice
Before you start playing...
Breathe in and out slowly for 10 minutes using your diaphragm to get yourself comfortable with breathing in this way. You should do this before every practice given that it will take you some time to really rely on this method of breathing while playing.
While doing this, your nerves and mental state should also be entering a state of calm.
When you are playing....
Typically, it is best to begin performing a movement just after exhaling, when your muscles are most relaxed and unencumbered.
It is easy to lose it, so in between points pause and do gut check by putting your hand against your stomach and reset your breathing for 10 seconds especially before you start serving.
All techniques come from The Cleveland Clinic. Imagery for this post are all original content from Break the Love Inc.*