Every tennis player gets to the point where finding motivation to play at their very best can be very difficult from game to game. For a consistent, hardcore competitor, getting “up” for playing against another top performer can become a constant chore, instead of a fun, adrenaline pumping contest that reminds us why we play tennis. For the regular player, one that plays only for fun and diversion, or even just for exercise, the game can become mundane after a long time and it can feel boring. You can lose your drive, your focus and forget about the reason you began playing this game in the first place.
How can we spark that competitive drive once again for both the hardcore player and the non-competitive?
For the non-competitive, weekender player there are a few simple things that can revitalize the spark of interest in this great game. The first thing to do is take some time off. This will automatically restore your sense of enthusiasm for the game. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. Once out of the game for a while and off the court, you will find your interest in the sport of tennis start to swing back to where it was in the beginning.
So take some time off and do something else that interests you. It does not have to be tennis or even spot related to count as an interest. Go see a movie, take a walk with your significant other, or do something you have never done before. The point is, we all must take some time to break our patterns as much as we can. Get out of the same old, same old and do something outside of your normal comfort zone. This will give you a different perspective on everything in your life and your casual games of tennis will take on new meaning. It will freshen things up for your mental drive and give you a reason to play again.
Another thing is to think about the reason you began to play tennis in the first place. Maybe it was to connect with a child or to introduce them to the game. Perhaps it was to spend some time with your spouse or long time friend. Maybe you lost that person or they moved on to something else, some other activity. There is no reason why you can’t touch base with them again or find someone else to play with.
For the deeply competitive there are many things to do to replenish the drive to compete. Some of the things mentioned already can work and work well. Take some time off from playing tennis. Play another sport, something that is not too strenuous. Playing golf for example can give you the feeling of doing something fun and competitive but is not as physically taxing as being on the tennis court day in, day out.
Go to the gym. Go back to some general conditioning and begin a new training regime, one that is not directly related to tennis. Lift weights. Run on the treadmill or go hiking. Doing these or any other activities can lead to a new perspective on the game. So can going to a match and watching a game played. If there is a local college where you can watch someone else play the game you can perhaps remember why tennis means so much to you.
Watching someone else play tennis can get the competitive juices flowing again for you and remind you why this is the game you love to play so much. Sitting back and listening to the sounds and seeing the sights of a good tennis match can light the fire under you and make you realize the best things this game has to offer.
Try some of these techniques and see what it does to give you a spark that sees you back on the court.