Happy first day of Wimbledon folks!!
Ok, I'm getting acronym crazy here but try A.C.E to challenge irrational and unhelpful thinking that may be impacting attitude in a negative way.
A - Accept that as human beings our emotions will more often kick in first and that our fight, flight, freeze responses (our animalistic 'chimp' responses) are there to protect us although they can often be irrational and unhelpful. Accept it's ok to have them, they are a part of us and one of the reasons we've survived so successfully as a species!
C - Catch them! We accept that they'll be there, but we got to become really 'tuned' in to our own thought patterns/behaviours to 'catch' anything irrational and unhelpful. Can you think of some situations that you respond irrationally to? Do a little pre-mortem on this to establish when you're more likely to go into unhelpful/irrational thinking patterns so your radar is on.
E - Erase (exchange might be a better word - thanks Emily Ineson) them by replacing them with a more 'human' logical/reasonable/helpful statement
I came up with this little checklist to run through in your hitting warm-up this past week. What do you think? Could be specially useful in a match warm-up to help focus your mind and body in the right areas.
Breathe out on contact. This will help your timing as well help you feel more Relaxed. Rid yourself of any muscle tension, especially in arms and shoulders. Then begin to bring some more Energy to the feet, whilst you check your Attitude for any unhelpful or irrational thinking. Finally, begin to focus more now on your ball outcome by hitting with increased Depth.
You may want to add a second 'D' for Detective at this point (thanks Jemima King for this one!). Are there any hints or clues you might be picking up from your opponent as to their physical and mental condition, strengths and weaknesses? My recommendation is not to get too bogged down with this. I've warmed up against guys who look amazing in the warm-up and turn out average in the match and visa-versa, but always good to focus a little attention to what your opponent is bringing to the match-court.
Warm-up with B.R.E.A.D to get you into the zone, whether for a match or training session. It will only take you 2-3 minutes but could be a useful addition to the tool-kit.
Finally, Tring School join AGS and Berkhamsted in the Aegon Schools finals. Everyballers Jake Williams and Sam Gough are members of this team.
Great to see our players so actively contributing to their schools and counties and British Tennis! Fantastic job all!