Website Preloader

How to Solve Problems in Tennis

Leadership, Problem Solving, Tennis

One of the biggest mistakes competitive tennis players make is thinking like every other competitive tennis player! Let me explain.

More than a game to be played, a tennis match is a series of problems to be solved. Your first problem is your opponent. If this person is truly competitive, they don’t only want to beat you–they want to DOMINATE YOUR PSYCHE–embarrass you in front of the crowd, and drive you into retirement…QUICKLY. One less “competitor” to think about. You’re welcome.

“Don’t tell your problems to people; eighty percent don’t care; and the other twenty percent are happy you have them.”–Lou Holtz, College Football Hall of Fame

In this article, you will learn five Big Ideas to improve your mental game and a Nine-Step Process for becoming a better problem solver on court, not just a better tennis player.

5 Big Mental Ideas

  • Leadership is the ability to solve problems.
  • Successful people focus on solutions rather than problems.
  • What appear to problems are really blessings in disguise.
  • Crises are opportunities to show what you’re truly made of.
  • The main reward for solving problems is the opportunity to solve bigger and more important problems.

We see these ideas in action on the men’s professional tour today. For example, Novak Djokovic has a huge problem to solve in Spanish wizard Carlos Alcaraz. Armed with youth, speed, and a great coaching team, Alcaraz proves to be a formidable opponent for the 23-time grand slam champion. The mountains never grow smaller for a baller, only bigger.

9 Steps To Becoming Solution-Oriented

(Note: To ace this exercise, finish the statements in italics.)

Step 1: Define the problem clearly.

Example: “My backhand is weak–it breaks down under pressure.”

My problem is…

Step 2: Ask, “Is it really a problem?”

Example: “Yes. Champions are made under pressure. An unreliable backhand holds me back from achieving my goal.”

My weakness is really a problem for me because…

Step 3: Ask, “What else is the problem?”

Example: “The quality of my training, the lack of practice time, my motivation, etc…”

The problem behind the problem is…

Step 4: Ask, “How did this problem occur?”

Example: “I was taught the wrong technique, I was out due to injury, etc…”

This problem occurred because…

Step 5: Ask, “What are all the possible solutions?”

Example: “Hire a new coach, study the best backhands, practice the backhand daily, etc…”

Possible solutions are…

Step 6: Ask, “What is the best solution at this time?”

Example: “Practice the right technique consistently.”

The best solution for me is…

Step 7: Make a decision.

Example: “I will practice my backhand for 30 minutes every morning.”

I will…

Step 8: Take 100% responsibility.

Example: “If it’s to be, it’s up to me! I will schedule time with my coach, be prepared, etc…”

I own this goal because…

Step 9: Measure results.

Example: “My end game is a reliable backhand under pressure to maximize my potential.”

The result I’m after is…

Remember: The quality of your thinking determines the quality of your results. Because you are now bigger than your problems, there’s no challenge that you can’t smash.

René Vidal is the most successful coach in McKendree Tennis history. In 2022, René led the men’s team to its 1st-ever GLVC Championship, best-ever 21-3 record, and best-ever Top 25 ITA ranking. When tennis-playing CEOs began asking René for coaching advice, he decided to launch VIDAL., a leadership development company helping organizations create excellence.

To check René’s speaking and coaching availability, email: [email protected].






Website Preloader