Tennis: Ana Ivanovic – Pressure!

So the French Champion, and number one seed, makes an early exit at Wimbledon, after a nervy, out of sorts display. In many ways this tournament probably came to soon for Ana Ivanovic.

Too soon for her to adjust to her status of French Champion and rankings leader. To soon, to develop the mentality of a number one seed at Wimbledon. For being number one, brings many pressures.

Pressure, to live up to expectations. Both of oneself and of others. Pressures, that come with your rivals, keen to take the opportunity to knock you off your pedestal. Pressure from the media and fans. Pressure that comes with suddenly, having to prove that you really are, the best in the world.

With all this pressure and demand, its easy to forget the reason why you became the world’s best.

The external pressures, create an internal demand. So, you end up trying too hard, to meet this demand. You think, that you have to try to play perfect tennis. And so end up losing your natural flow, rhythm and timing. Perfectionism can eat away at confidence.

So – it’s time to get back to basics. Keeping your focus on the simple things. The sound of the ball on the racket. The flow of a good ground stroke. Your footwork. The timing of a crisp volley. Immerse yourself, in doing the simple things well. No demand. No pressure.

Perhaps the early exit from Wimbledon will help Ana Ivanovic. Help her to clear her head. Regain her focus. And remind herself, of the reason why she loves the game in the first place.

Results and ranking will take care of themselves, when she gets her mentality right. Playing tennis at the highest level, should be a joy, not a demand.

Posted in Sports Psychology Blog, Tennis Psychology.