My name is Neil Endicott and I provide mental training to tennis players around the world using the Mindfulness-Based Tennis Psychology (MBTP) method, which I founded in 2010.
When I was younger I struggled with the mental side of tennis. I slumped physically and mentally in matches if I made mistakes, and often got caught up in negative thinking between and during points, which affected my concentration. I stumbled along OK, but it wasn’t until I started practicing mindfulness meditation that I moved on significantly with my mental game.
I learned how to become fully aware of any negative thoughts and emotions I experienced on court and how to let them be just as they are, rather than waste mental energy trying to change them.
Most of the time we’re on autopilot, not fully aware of the thoughts and emotions which are present at any given time. On autopilot, we often get caught up in negative patterns of thinking, and don’t realise that by engaging with negative thoughts we often exacerbate them.
In the past this was certainly true for me. During matches, I interfered with negative mental experiences, trying to work them out or push them away. When I missed a shot or double-faulted, I would get into self-critical conversations with myself, which I now know was precisely the wrong thing to do.
Mindfulness is all about learning not to interfere with the thoughts going through our heads, so that we can reduce cognitive activity (thinking) and boost our chances of playing in the zone.
Mindfulness helps us to notice what is happening in our minds and to redirect our attention to whatever task we choose. By practicing meditation, I learned that I could choose whether to engage with thoughts or not. On court this is a great skill to have.
Imagine being able to quickly let go of negative thoughts after missing an easy shot, or being able to stay cool on the big points. Mindfulness-Based Tennis Psychology teaches us how to do this.
Any tennis player can learn mindfulness, and that’s why I designed the Mindfulness-Based Tennis Psychology (MBTP) course, so that anyone can learn these skills.
I’m not saying that meditation turned me into Roger Federer! It simply enabled me to play more often to the top of my ability, to get into the zone more often, and to enjoy my tennis to the full.
It can help you play to the top of your ability too, whatever standard you play to – whether you’re a tour professional, a regular club player or a beginner.
You can download the MBTP course here.
If you have any questions about Mindfulness-Based Tennis Psychology, feel free to email me.
Mindfulness-Based Tennis Psychology