Nov. 27, 2020

Building Confidence

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We need to learn to build confidence every single day. Don't relate confidence directly to winning or losing matches. Take something positive for long-term success.

Coach:Chris Haggard, former world no.19 doubles. Won 7 ATP titles.
Bio:Turned pro in 1993. Spent 15 years on the ATP Tour. Excelled at doubles to reach career-high #19 ranking. Stayed in Top 50 for over a decade. Won 7 ATP titles. Reached SF Australian Open and QF of both US Open and Wimbledon. Career wins over Bryan Brothers, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Leander Paes, Pat Rafter, Leyton Hewitt, and Marat Safin.

Birthplace: South Africa

Length: 3 min 12 sec
Theme: Confidence


I'm going to talk a little bit about confidence.

I had to build confidence every single day, you know, every single day I come out there and practice and if I hit my forehand, I'll take that, as a little bit of confidence, It (it) becomes very scary if you (if you) relate confidence to winning matches, you know, winning or losing matches, you see that boosts your confidence because that's not always true. You know, as we know, in tennis, I could, you could play a bad match, but your opponent had a worse day and you beat him. Does that really boost your confidence? So I mean, it could but (but) what I really recommend, take something every single day, just to give you a little bit of a boost, take something positive, don't always focus on the negative.

You know, if you come out today, and you (you) didn't hit your forehand well, but somehow, you know, you hit your serve well, that's what you take with you, you like I felt good on those last few serves that I hit, I'm gonna take that into tomorrow. And, then you take that. So, each day, you build up a little bit of confidence. And, the beauty about that is even if you lose a match you like, you know what, even though I lost the match, there were certain parts that I was really confident about in my game that I did, well. A lot of times we get negative thoughts coming to our head, and you might miss a backhand and have a real negative thought about it as I don't have a very good back end, or I miss a forehand I never good forehand. And, I think the key to that is, is to really accept that tennis is a very hard game, and you cannot be perfect. And, you're going to miss. And accept that you're going to miss. You're going to miss probably more than you're going to make. But, the beauty about it as you know, your opponent is a good chance they're going to miss more than they're going to make too. That's what makes it fun. And (and) I think we way too critical of ourselves. And, when we get that negative thought, instead of just being you know, I missed a forehand, it goes to it gets deeper than that. It's like, why did I miss the forehand? I'm not very good. And, then you know, and then you get angry or different emotions come up.

So, I think the key is, is not to attach missing to an emotion. The point I'm trying to make is 'observation without judgment'. And (and) this is a very good lesson you can learn is just to observe what you have done. But don't judge yourself. We're very quick into judging ourselves, and it affects a whole game.

I played on the professional circuit for 15 years and there were stretches where I would go, I would lose four first rounds in a row. I mean, that's (that's) a whole month without winning a match. You know, one thing when you play on the pro circuit, there's no, there's no second match, you know, it's a knockout. So, you can imagine what losing four rounds in a row does to your confidence. With experience what I realized was me doing little things every day, you know, me working on my forehand gave me a little bit of confidence. Working out in the gym or me putting a little effort in, that builds my confidence. And, even though I was losing matches, I was still confident in my ability. I saw what I was doing every day on the tennis court, you know, I was hitting with good players. I knew I was just having a bad run. But I still believed in what I could do. And I think that's where people, they attach the confidence with the results too much. You know, I think you need to be confident in your ability every single day, you know, take something out of that.