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Tennis is a complex game

Marcin Bieniek explains how coaches can help players develop their mental approach to tennis.

A lot of factors can influence the development of a tennis player. Training is a day-to-day way of life for every professional player when they practice their forehands, backhands, net game, footwork and mental game (especially perseverance), etc.

You may have heard the phrase: "Tennis is 90% mental", but how much time do we train our player's mental game? As coaches, we can help our players by creating drills focused on the game's mental aspects. We do not have to create something exceptional. We can use our standard exercises with a bit of modification. Here are some tips:

How to enhance emotional control

  • relaxation patterns
  • breathing patterns
  • personal rituals
  • visualisation
  • exercising yoga (off-court)
  • listening to music (off-court)
  • meditating (off-court)

How to enhance self-control

  • self-scoring
  • working strengths
  • problem-solving
  • positive self-talk
  • acting as a role model
  • rituals
  • visualisation
  • positive body language

How to enhance concentration

  • setting targets
  • creating reaction drills
  • creating consistency drills
  • routines
  • exercising memory

How to enhance motivation

  • having fun
  • creating fun drills
  • players choose the drill
  • setting goals
  • co-operation
  • training diaries
  • using motivating cue words

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • BIENIEK, M. (2012) Tennis is a complex game [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Marcin Bieniek is a tennis coach from Poland and a former professional player (Polish National Juniors Team). He is a certificated tennis coach by the Polish Tennis Coaching Association and the Professional Tennis Registry. Marcin has worked with many of the top 20 Polish Juniors and the top 150 players in the world.