• Diane Masters

The Unsung Heroes of Wimbledon

It’s Wimbledon!

Two weeks of highs and lows. Plenty of excitement for us as spectators - and for the players, a time of intense scrutiny and pressure (particularly if you’re a British seed.)

Throughout the competition, players will be supported by their family and friends and their ever-important coaches. Long before they set foot on court, they’ll have worked together on maximising playing techniques, shoring up weaknesses and - of equal, if not greater, importance - working on their mindset.

One of the best examples of someone who accesses their mental strength at the critical moment is Andy Murray. When all looks lost, he focuses his mind and, although agonising to watch, he persists to the point where he changes the course of the match. Remember that Wimbledon Men’s Final?

His focus is to achieve peak performance at the right time.

The game in your head

Tim Gallwey, a tennis expert who went on to use coaching in the field of sports and business, said in his book The Inner Game of Tennis, “The opponent within one’s head is more formidable than the one the other side of the net”. He maintains that if you can help a player to reduce or remove the internal obstacles in their mind, then performance will improve. Sports coaching unlocks the mental strength to maximise overall performance.

Anyone for coaching?

And the same applies to personal coaching. Having a coach alongside helps your everyday game;

· You find your own techniques to deal with the tricky situations you face - life’s equivalent of a deep lob or a cross court slice

· You have the support from someone who is on your side and is focusing on you and how you can play your best game

· Coaching opens your eyes to the choices available to you. Sometimes you need to play a volley instead of a lob - a coach shows you when and how

· You increase your personal strength through positive thinking and self-belief. Like Andy, you can focus and dig deep to take more control

If you want to know more about how you can improve your performance, get in touch. And enjoy the tennis…not forgetting the unsung heroes who sit on the side-lines but are a major part of the game.

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