Archiv der Kategorie: Mentaltraining

Tic Tac Toe

In the main season, this is in Germany in the months May to August, there is not so much time to think about theories or to read special literature about coaching. but it is the time of practice and developing drills.

One of my favourite – one of a lo – is the „Tic Tac Toe“ – drill, a constraints led coaching drill to improve tactics under pressure.

Training goals are improving tactics and mental strength, to play under pressure and having a lot of fun 🙂 .


Whistle when you hit the ball….

This „Trick the mind-drill“ helps players in every stage, pro or beginner, to feel the rhythm, focus on contact point, set a signal for the partner on the other side, breath while hitting and its a lot of fun. Be sensible with neighbours 😉 .


The dice

Changing indivual constraints by coping with emotions:

Very often, especially young players are not able to deal with being behind in the score. They let their heads hang down and give up. In this game the player’s emotion is manipulated. Both players dice before the match. The result of their dices is the current score.

Variations: play up to 10 points, ball is played in by the coach; always on the same player; on the player who is behind in the score; play with service; play a matchtiebreak, starting with the dice score; play a set to six, starting with the dice score…

Coaching technique

‚Technique coaching, I’ve never done with Andy before – zero … because I believe that it simply does not bring anything belendltween 27 and 29. On the other hand, because I’m lousy in technical training.‘

Nicely put to the point by Ivan Lendl, the coach of the world number one Andy Murray. Whether he argues in the sense of our coaching philosophy of INNER COACHING, perhaps a daring presumption. Nevertheless, the quotation says a lot and supports our methodological approach: game-oriented and action-oriented instead of technology-oriented.

„Techniktraining? Habe ich mit Andy noch nie gemacht – null….Zum einen, weil ich daran glaube, dass es zwischen 27 uns 29 schlichtweg nichts mehr bringt. Zum anderen, weil ich mies im Techniktraining bin.“

Schön auf den Punkt gebracht von Ivan Lendl, dem Coach des Weltranglistenersten Andy Murray. Ob er damit im Sinne unserer Trainingsphilosophie des INNER COACHING argumentiert, wäre vielleicht eine gewagte Vermutung. Dennoch sagt das Zitat etwas aus und unterstützt unsere methodische Vorgehensweise: spiel- und handlungsorientiert statt technikorientiert.

Willingness fatigues

If you have to force yourself to act, then self control suffers (self exhaustion or „Ego-Depletion“), if after that is another challenge. It could be shown, that an emotional effort at the beginning of the experiment reduces the ability in the second phase to endure the physical effort involved in strength training. It is enough if we are challenged before the effort to have to choose between „virtuous foods“ (E.g. radish and celery) and chocolate or sweet biscuits. Who resists the temptation and remains „virtuous“ is faster with the following cognitive or physical task! But in addition to such serious decisions before the race there are still more strenuous situations that restrict our creativity, our conflict resolution skills, our logical thinking and may damage our athletic performance:

  • when you try not to think about pink elephants
  • when you try to crowd out emotional stirring thoughts
  • unsolved conflicts you carry around
  • if you want to impress others
  • if you try to stay keen, when I’m feeling badly treated by someone

That overwhelms our nervous system. The value of blood sugar drops, if our self-control is demanded. In corresponding experiments could be demonstrated, that e.g. with glucose-sweetened lemonade can restore the ability to self regulate despite (pre-)load.

Source: Daniel Kahneman. Fast and slow thinking. Munich 2011

Centipede’s dilemma

„The Centipede’s Dilemma“ is a short poem that has lent its name to a psychological effect called the centipede effect or centipede’s dilemma. The centipede effect occurs when a normally automatic or unconscious activity is disrupted by consciousness of it or reflection on it. For example, a golfer thinking too closely about their swing or someone thinking too much about how they knot their tie may find their performance of the task impaired. The effect is also known as hyper-reflection or Humphrey’s law after the English psychologist George Humphrey (1889–1966), Centipede’s dilemma weiterlesen

Sprache „macht Wirklichkeit“

Sprache wirkt und „macht Wirklichkeit“!

Beobachtungen aus der Kommunikationswissenschaft werden imBlabla Tennistraining und im Spielercoaching leider zu selten berücksichtigt. Was der Coach sagt, wird vom Spieler interpretiert und hat – in der Regel – eine nachhaltige Wirkung auf das Denken und die innere Haltung des Spielers. Deshalb ist es für den Coach wichtig, auf Wirkung von Worten zu achten und passende Worte zu verwenden. (Zusammengestellt von den TMS Coaches Frercks Hartwig und Christian Köhler).

Hier ein paar Beispiele und Vorschläge zu einer veränderten Ausdrucksweise:

  1. Versuche mal….“ Versuchen beinhaltet schon immer den Hinweis auf die Möglichkeit des Scheiterns. Besser ist… das Wort „versuchen“ aus dem Trainerwortschatz zu verbannen und den Spieler anzuleiten, es doch mal so „zu machen“.

Sprache „macht Wirklichkeit“ weiterlesen


Schlaegerberg„Making a difference“ makes a difference and improves learning, variability, creativity.

A way to bring fun and sense in the daily tennis practice is to play with different rackets (old, with old strings, short rackets, large rackets…..) or/and different balls on different court sizes.

Example: Player A and B play rallies with their regular rackets. After every  three played balls A changes the racket. This drill has psychological side-effects: players have to cope with changing constraints.


  • play on targets
  • play points, f.e. mini-tiebreak to 3
  • with service/without service
  • use additionally different balls
  • moisten the grip of some rackets