Start the week off with the right mindset!
Every Monday we share some key insights from the top players past and present. This week, be mentally tough like Nadal. Rafael Nadal is a mentally tough as they come. He is a 14-time grand slam winner and former number 1 player in the world. He is on a 3 tournament win streak and he is looking like the favorite to win the French Open. How does he do it? Athleticism aside, Nadal is successful because he is extremely mentally tough. Follow these tips and you too can be mentally tough like Nadal.
1. Play point for point- as mentioned in his quote Nadal says that he tries "to play tough and focus point for point. Sounds so boring, but it's the right thing to do out there." We have heard this time and time again from top athletes. The best of the best are able to focus and keep their intensity, throughout the match but especially on the big points.
2. Develop rituals that calm you- If you have ever watched Nadal play you know that Nadal has a few quirky rituals that he performs between points. His routines tend to vary depending on whether he is serving or returning, however, between each point, he does the following: He must pick at his underpants. He must touch his nose. He must run his hair behind both ears. This is neurotic behavior yes but is serves it purpose by calming Nadal down between points and preparing him for the next point.
By the way, it's not just Nadal who has rituals, all players do. Roger, Serena, Djokovic, Murray, Sharapova, you name it, they all have rituals. Their rituals are not as pronounced as Rafa's, but they have them, and their rituals help them to relax, reset their minds, and prepare for the next point.
3. Be fit enough to keep clarity of thought even when you are tired- Nadal is extremely fit. Yes, it's true you have to be fit to play professional tennis, but Nadal is in the top percentile when it comes to tennis fitness. You have probably heard the expression, "strong body, strong mind." Well, it's true, especially in tennis. If you are out of breath and falling all over yourself because you are tired, you will not be able to keep a clear mind. Rafa's high fitness level allows him to keep his intensity and focus especially when it matters.
Try these tips and although you may not win multiple grand slams like Rafa, your mental toughness will improve.
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