Mental practice on the tennis court

In every individual sport, athlete has to deal with all the aspects. It simply means that player has to be strong mentally to deal with variety of challenges that can decide about the level of improvement and possible results. Every training session on the court is a great possibility to improve mental tools so it should be used to work on this area on a daily basis.

Mental practice on the tennis court

To become the best possible tennis player, it is necessary to take care of different aspects related to tennis development. Practicing on the tennis court is a basic activity that should be preformed as a daily routine but this environment creates more opportunities than just working on technique and tactic. Mental skills can and should be improved while hitting the balls so after every session is done, player should be stronger mentally. 

There are different ways to work on your mental aspects. This diversity is visible at all levels of performance. In individual sport as tennis is, it is crucial to find own way to become mentally stronger that will fit your individual style, needs and possibilities. Working with psychologists, taking courses or using specifically-designed apps are tools available on the market but you can also do effective mental training on your own while practicing tennis. You spend many hours on the court so it is the waste of time if you dedicate your efforts just to working on how to hit the ball or where to place it.

Mental training is all about the environment. To be able to practice different psychological skills, you have to be in specific place, where you will have to deal with variety of challenges. During every training session on the tennis court, you are always in the right environment to improve your mental game. That is why you should be aware of this fact and use every opportunity to become as strong as Rafa Nadal (read here why Rafa is so strong mentally) or Novak Djokovic are.

When you have the next practice, step on the court with the goal to make the biggest possible improvement that will include mental work too. Awareness of the situation combined with hard mental work will guarantee progress and will allow you to become an effective mental warrior without spending any money:


In tennis, ability to focus on proper area is really helpful in maintaining optimal performance and increasing the chance for winning. It is important to understand that there are different types of concentration and players have to practice all of them to be ready for the requirements of tennis competition. Internal focus can be improved by focusing on own technique while external focus will be developed when player will keep focus on tactical solutions or opponent’s positioning on the court. By practicing with specific mental goal in mind, you will be able to use this skill under the pressure even when other factors will try to make your focus wander away. 

Dealing with mistakes

It doesn’t matter how good you are – you will always make mistakes. Mistakes are part of the development and are present during every training session and tennis match. You should try to avoid them by improving your skills but you also have to possess skills that will allow you to react properly to the mistakes. One mistake can lead to many others if the reaction is wrong so your mental tools have to include proven methods that will keep your form at proper level. After making mistakes, go through the routine and learn from the mistake instead of getting angry at it. By knowing why you did particular mistake and how to improve it, you will avoid series of mistakes and you will be able to win the next point.


Situation on the court can change drastically in every minute. Tennis is not time-limited so you have to keep your game ready until the last point is played. To increase the chance for making proper decisions and implementing effective strategy, you have to possess the skill of awareness. That is why you have to think about the on-court situations and analyze with details what happens on the court. When you are aware of the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, own favorite patterns or rival’s decisions during crucial points, you will be prepared for what’s ahead and you will have advantage over the rival with the knowledge of his intended actions.

It is impossible to become successful tennis player without having strong mental skills. There are a lot of factors that can have negative impact on player’s performance so to deal with these challenges, you have to work in advance on specific tools that will allow you to find solutions to different problems. Make sure that every on-court meeting makes you stronger mentally and remember that mental’s improvement is dependent solely on your willingness to work on it during specific time. 

Marcin Bieniek is a professional tennis coach. You can contact Marcin through his personal coaching website Marcin has been working with USTA, top 50 ITF and WTA/ATP players. Author of tennis book “Tenisowy Olimp” and frequent contributor to TennisPro and TenisKlub magazines. He was a speaker at International Coaching Tennis Symposium 2016 and 2021 at Hilton Head Island, USA.