Mentally Preparing For Wimbledon
Learn How The Pros Prepare Mentally For
Important Tennis Championships In The World
You Can Learn These Mental Lessons To Focus Your Mind
To Handle Adversity-In Sports, Business and Life
Bill Cole, MS, MA
You may not be about to play Wimbledon, the most prestigious
tennis championships in the world, but what is the Wimbledon
in your life? How do you mentally prepare for a big, arduous
event? I will be coaching the Israeli Davis Cup Team at Wimbledon
this year, and here I bring you some little known facts about
the event that can make or break a player mentally. Take these
mental strategies and apply them to your sport, your business
world and even to life itself.
1. Wimbledon Has Maddeningly Officious Administration.
More than other pro tournament, Wimbledon is not very player-friendly.
They do not make a player's stay there easy or conducive to
excellent mental focus.
Mental Tip--Expect this micro-management style and
go with the flow.
2. Wimbledon Has A Negative And Prying Media. The British
media seem to love to torture players by following their private
lives and by gossiping about them in full color in the papers.
Mental Tip--Be cordial to the media, but don't give
them any fuel for the fire, if there is any. Be professional
at all times.
3. Wimbledon Has Very Limited Practice Courts. Even
many main draw players are relegated to practicing at nearby
clubs that have grass, thereby losing the feel and ambiance
of the lawns of Wimbledon.
Mental Tip--Enjoy every minute of practice on grass,
at any venue, and imagine you are at the All-England Club
at every moment.
4. Wimbledon Has Poor And Erratic Weather. It seems
to be the motto of British TV weathermen that if you don't
like the weather, just wait a minute. Wimbledon has highly
unpredictable and changeable weather conditions, ranging from
sweltering heat to rain to sweater weather at the drop of
a tennis ball.
Mental Tip--Prepare for every eventuality and remember
that the weather is equally terrible on the opponent's side
of the net.
5. Wimbledon Has Bad Bounces In Almost Every Game.
If clay has bad bounces, then Wimbledon has NO bounces. I
enjoy playing on grass, but groundstrokes can be almost nonexistent.
This is why serve and volley is King on grass.
Mental Tip--Be ready to improvise, dig, scramble and
be scrappy on grass to get the job done. Don't be proud and
worry about how you look-play to win and just accept the awful
6. Wimbledon Has A High Luck Factor. Players armed
with only a big serve or a return can score upsets on the
temperamental grass. It doesn't seem fair that well-balanced
players without those weapons can fall victim to seemingly
weaker players who get by on a couple big weapons.
Mental Tip--Accept what each opponent brings to the
contest and push issues of fairness out of your mind. Your
job is to focus and get the most out of your game.
7. Wimbledon Has A Limited Lead-Up Circuit On Grass.
In the old days, Wimbledon was the culmination of a multi-week
grass court circuit. Now, there is only three weeks of events
in which to prepare. Players have to tune up to the All-England
Club grass as they compete.
Mental Tip--Realize everyone has the same limitations.
Be the one who adapts the best and the fastest to the surface.
8. Wimbledon Lasts Two Weeks Instead Of The Usual One.
Only the majors, the Grand Slams in pro tennis are two weeks
in length. This is why they are such a test of mental, emotional
and physical skill.
Mental Tip--Make your tennis and training peak for
this event and give it everything you've got.
9. Wimbledon Is Steeped In Tradition, And Hence, Pressure.
Wimbledon has perhaps the most intensive media scrutiny of
any pro tennis event and possesses such revered tradition,
that no player can fail to feel its significance.
Mental Tip-- Realize that your opponent has the same
pressures to succeed. Enjoy the experience, but keep your
focus on what will make you successful.
10. Wimbledon Players Keep A Busy Schedule. Because
Wimbledon is so high profile, and because the men and women
are together at one site a scant few times a year, everyone
plays singles, doubles and mixed (except for a few singles
or doubles purists). This creates a time and energy crunch.
Mental Tip-- Take each match on its own merits and
stay focused on the here and now. Don't allow the grandeur
and overwhelming nature of Wimbledon to intrude into your
After all these negatives and problems I have enumerated with
Wimbledon, why would anyone want to go there? Simple. It's
the premier, most important tennis tournament in world tennis
history, and everyone wants be seen there, to play there and
What is the theme of how top players succeed at Wimbledon?
Have a strong mental game. They prepare mentally far in advance.
They assume the worst and hope for the best. They roll with
the punches and stay on an even keel emotionally. They maintain
focus. They pride themselves on their mental toughness.
You can do the same in your business, your sport or your life.
Copyright © Bill Cole, MS., MA. 2001, 2008 All rights
This article covers only one small part of the mental game.
A complete mental training program includes motivation and
goal-setting, pre-event mental preparation, post-event review
and analysis, mental strengthening, self-regulation training,
breath control training, motor skill training, mental rehearsal,
concentration training, pressure-proofing, communication training,
confidence-building, breaking through mental barriers, slump
prevention, mental toughness training, flow training, relaxation
training, momentum training, psych-out proofing and media
For a comprehensive overview of your mental abilities you
need an assessment instrument that identifies your complete
mental strengths and weaknesses. For a free, easy-to-take
65-item sport psychology assessment tool you can score right
on the spot, visit https://www.mentalgamecoach.com/Assessments/MentalGameOfSports.html.
This assessment gives you a quick snapshot of your strengths
and weaknesses in your mental game. You can use this as a
guide in creating your own mental training program, or as
the basis for a program you undertake with Bill Cole, MS,
MA to improve your mental game. This assessment would be an
excellent first step to help you get the big picture about
your mental game.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on peak performance, mental toughness
and coaching, is founder and President of the International Mental Game Coaching
Bill is also founder and CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps
organizations and professionals achieve more success in business, life and sports.
He is a multiple Hall of Fame honoree, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published
book author and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league
pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For a free, extensive
article archive, or for questions and comments visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.
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