sports psychologist & clinical psychology

KEEPING TENNIS THRILLING

Mental Equipment Syndicated Column – Mar 1, 1997 – Dr. John F. Murray – Any frequently performed activity can lose it’s luster and appear routine, even a naturally challenging and exciting endeavor like tennis. As such, I strongly advise you to monitor your heart for danger symptoms. No need to telephone the cardiologist, just periodically examine your desire, enthusiasm and sense of creativity for the game. If these intangibles begin to fade, watch for performance to decline too. Don’t panic, but realize that minor adjustments are required to restore the thrill of the game.

Although various external conditions may contribute to boredom or staleness including overtraining, rigid practice structures, or poor coaching, these are reserved for a future article. More essential to restoring the thrill of tennis is first recognizing that pleasure resides within our own feelings and interpretations. All real enthusiasm and joy for any activity is inspired from deep within rather than acquired from outer sources. An internal focus is truly needed.

Reflect upon your personal reasons for getting involved and remaining in this sport. What self-expressions are facilitated by playing tennis? What is most important and pleasurable to you as a person and as an athlete? This may take some time, but if you are true to yourself you will discover the inner drive and enthusiasm that knows few boundaries. You will have found what you lost when feelings of monotony began. Begin playing tennis with renewed vitality, but don’t forget to check your heart on a regular basis.

Your Turn to Speak

At this time, I would like to solicit your comments regarding which articles have been most helpful, how they have assisted you, and topics you would like to see addressed in future editions. There are twenty-one Mental Equipment articles which can be retrieved by scrolling down this page and linking to your choice. Thanks in advance for keeping me informed of your progress.

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