Playing the semi-finals at Roland Garros, Novac was annoyed by the weather conditions and kept complaining to the umpire hoping the game would be postponed. In fairness, it was quite windy, but so was for his opponent, Dominic Thiem.
Mental distractors are everywhere. Weather conditions, your opponent, field conditions, and coach’s decisions are variables athletes do not have any control over.
Complaining about conditions we have no control over only lead to get mentally distracted. As a result, temporary focus is gone and extra time is needed to regain focus.
At first sight, we may see a tennis player being physically ready to hit his first serve, but emotionally he is still wondering and fighting for the unfairness of the prior call.
In sports, athletes are constantly required to not only show their best skills, but also mental readiness. Those who are better able to navigate the unfairness of competition are the ones who are more likely to accept them and stay in control of their game.
Acceptance of sport situations that are out of our control actually prepares us to be remain focus and have an edge over opponents.
- Accept unfairness
- Have a go-to response for when unfairness take place, maybe a positive self-talk cue
- Focus on you, rather than your opponent.