By Head Tennis Pro Kati Kocsis
In Order to make lasting positive changes in your game, you need to get into the habit of taking responsibility for your own actions, thoughts and feelings. Once you understand that you are responsible for everything you do and feel, you will realize that you have more control over your game than you originally though.
When you use excuses and blame other people or your circumstances, then you take away the power from yourself. On the other hand, blaming yourself for mistakes is equally counterproductive. Instead of pointing fingers at yourself or others, look at some possible solutions and lessons to be learned from each situation. It is also important to be able to distinguish between your responsibilities and other people’s issues.
What are you responsible for? You are responsible for your preparedness. You are responsible for your thoughts and your emotions. You are responsible for your attitude and sportsmanship. It does not matter that you were tired, that you were injured, that you were playing badly or that you faced some bad calls. Take responsibility and look at what you can learn from your match.
On the other hand, you are not responsible for what others do; however, you are certainly responsible for your reactions to others’ actions. You are not responsible for outside distractions but again, you are responsible for how you react to them. You always have a choice and it is your responsibility to accept your choice. Sometimes you will make poor choices, and that is all right. But make sure to take responsibility for your poor choice.
Using excuses will not make you a better player; it will backfire in the long run. You will get used to looking for excuses and if you cannot find any, you might create one in the form of an injury. Of course, not every injury is created because you needed an excuse. But your mind is certainly capable of creating injuries subconsciously to prevent you from having to take responsibility. So it is good practice not to use injuries as excuses. If your injury is serious, you should consult your physician and only return to the court when advised. However, if your injury is not serious and only bothersome, once you make the decision to play, you cannot use your injury as an excuse.
Take 100% responsibility for your tennis career. If you are not happy with your results, then think about what you need to change to turn it around. Be completely honest with yourself and give up all excuses, blaming and complaining altogether. Believe in your own power. Believe that you are the one who can make it all happen. After all, you are the one in charge.