The 7 Cardinal Sins of Mindset in Tennis


  1. Indifference/Apathy – If you want to achieve your goals and improve performance, there’s no room for any lack in effort. Always put in 110%.
  2. Stubbornness – Being stubborn means your aren’t coachable. Being uncoachable will make you unsuccessful. However, being open-minded will expose new skills or techniques that you would’ve otherwise ignored.
  3. Pride – It’s ok to be confident in yourself, but being overconfident might lead you be obnoxious or prideful. Being prideful will lead to silly mistakes and potential embarrassment. Remember that no matter how good you get at tennis, there is always someone right around the corner that can beat you.  Maintain a humble attitude on and off the court, and you will be a true role model for everyone.
  4. Self-Doubt – It’s very easy to be overly critical toward yourself, especially after experiencing a loss or setback.  All of a sudden, just because of a loss, players start doubting their abilities.  This is how one loss can turn into a “slump”. To avoid this, have short-term memory loss of your bad days.  Everyone has a bad day on the court here and there. Forget about these times and just focus on the positive things about yourself.
  5. Cautiousness – If you’re too hesitant, you miss out on key opportunities and allow for the opponents to take the advantage in points. Instead, play gutsy tennis with big targets!  If your margins are at least 3 feet inside the lines, you can play very aggressive tennis.
  6. Perfectionism – Be cautious when setting goals; you don’t want to force high expectations on yourself. Many players are actually too concerned with technique and hitting the ball the way they want to.  This can be very difficult, especially when playing players whose game-style does not match up well with yours. There are no style points in tennis, and sometimes you have to be okay with winning ugly!

It’s ok to make mistakes and to continually work on being a better tennis player. Plus, once you’re a “perfect” athlete, it’ll become boring!

  1. Over-Seriousness – You should play tennis because you like it and you enjoy it. Being over-serious decreases the enjoyment of the sport and adds extra stress on yourself. At times like this, try to remember why you started playing tennis in the first place.