Have you ever noticed how many of the top players in Tahoe seem so relaxed, so quiet? Well, it turns out there is new research that affirms the old adage of “keep your eye on the ball.” However, this tip is less about how you hit, it’s more about the mental aspect of all your shots. And if you don’t think the mental aspect of the game is that important, some advice from Serena Williams will go a long way:
“I’ve won most of my matches – probably all of my grand slams – because of what’s upstairs, not anything else,” she told Sports Illustrated in 2015.
“If you are behind in a game, it’s so important to relax, and that’s what I do – when I’m behind in a game, that’s when I become most relaxed,” she added. “Just focus on one point at a time… just that sole point, and then the next one, and the next one.”
In BBC’s recent article Why athletes need a ‘quiet eye,’ David Robinson discusses the research that demonstrates one big difference between pros and amateurs—professionals keep their eyes focused on the target longer. This longer focus, in spite of the faster pace of the game and stiffer competition, is the quiet eye.
The article is a fascinating read if you have time, but the key take away and Tip of the Week is that when the game gets tough:
A quiet eye and a relaxed mind gets you out of every bind.
Be sure to check out the other Tip of the Week posts if you’ve missed them. We’ve recently covered ways to improve your dinking, to improve your preparation, and to improve your reset shots.
Let me know your thoughts and questions in the comment section below. Additionally, let me know if there is a topic you’d like covered in an upcoming Tip of the Week.