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Visualise success

/ Author: Chris Osborne

Ace Tennis Camps recognises the pressure that young athletes can sometimes find themselves under in match situations.  It is for this reason at our summer camps we are introducing an onsite sports psychologist to help mentor the tennis players attending our camps in London.

Below is a couple of examples form a recent article in the "Daily Telegraph" of where major sports people have benefited from Sports psychology:

On the evening before a Premier League football match, Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney habitually asks the club’s kit man what colour shirts, shorts and socks the team will wear the next day. It’s not that Rooney is a closet fashionista eager to match the colour of his boots, underpants or hair transplants to the shades of his team’s battle garb. Rooney’s mind craves forensic details before a game for one special purpose: to enhance the accuracy of his psychological preparation.
“I lie in bed the night before the game and visualise myself scoring goals or doing well,” he once revealed. “You're trying to put yourself in that moment and trying to prepare yourself, to have a 'memory' before the game.” Knowing exactly which kit he will be wearing helps him conjure up a richer, more detailed and authentic vision. “I don't know if you'd call it visualising or dreaming, but I've always done it, my whole life.”

For Rooney, this use of imagery – the act of creating and ‘rehearsing’ a positive mental experience in order to enhance your ability to achieve a successful outcome in real life – is an instinctive method honed since childhood, and one shared by great athletes from Muhammad Ali and Michael Phelps to Jessica Ennis-Hill and Jonny Wilkinson. 

Prior to London 2012, Ennis-Hill revealed: “I use visualisation to think about the perfect technique. If I can get that perfect image in my head, then hopefully it’ll affect my physical performance.”

If we as tennis coaches can get players to think this way we help them maximise their potential.

An interesting thought for sure!