HOW TO IMPROVE PERFORMANCE THROUGH MENTAL SESSIONS
Learn how BRAIN SPOTTING, an innovative therapy, can change your game
There are times when intense practice does not help improve players' performance problems. In these cases, the level of the player (who has a consolidated level of play) deteriorates both in competition and in training.
How does the player react to these circumstances?
They increase the hours of practice and the intensity of them. Athletes rely on getting results through hard work. The development of unwavering will and relentless work has helped top athletes reach their peak skill levels.
What is the benefit of so many hours of training?
The true benefit of hard work comes from neurological learning. Neurological learning makes movements more fluid and automatic. These results are achieved progressively in time, where there are periods of improvement, others of stability, and even periods of regression. Ultimately, overall dexterity improves immensely.
Neurological learning routines improve the efficiency of movement. That is, expending less energy with high effectiveness. However, there are situations in which a player has already achieved the benefit of these routines, yet their performance drops. The player feels “blocked” with the pressure of making certain decisions under difficult circumstances.
What happens then?
Repeated exposure to “blocking” deepens the sense of insecurity in the player. These blocking situations are more common than generally believed, and they are present in all sports disciplines.
The causes of this “blocking”, as David Grand explains his book, That's your brain when you do sports, is trauma. Trauma can be both physical and emotional. Some examples of physical traumas are: sprains, deep cuts, torn cartilages, broken bones. Emotional traumas include: humiliation by a trainer, partner or parent; sport underperforming with negative consequences for the team.
An experience becomes a trauma when it is not processed properly. A memory is frozen with a high emotional load that prevents the athlete from connecting with past positive experiences. The player experiences anxiety, loss of self-confidence, body tension and negative thoughts.
However, these traumas symptoms need not overcome the player. They can be controlled through relaxation techniques, positive internal dialogue, and concentration routines. In the Elite Tennis Academy, we use these tactics to modify memories that have been stored in our unconscious. That is, through conscious techniques we try to change parts of our unconscious mind.
There is a new technique called Brainspotting that can access the unconscious and processes traumatic experiences in a much shorter time. In Brainspotting, our conscious mind acts as an observer of the process, while the unconscious is the catalyst of change by using ocular position to connect with stored experiences.Research shows that the position of our eyes (in search of external information) correlates with an internal location in our brain. The unconscious decides the position of the eyes.
Usually, we rely on the capabilities of our conscious brain (and its capacity for analysis and resolution) to make life enhancing decisions. Unfortunately, relying on our rationale is not enough. One possible explanation for the ineffectiveness of the conscious brain is the difference in ability to act. The unconscious brain is faster than the conscious one. Thus, the unconscious brain better at producing necessary changes.
In Brainspotting, the conscious brain remains a neutral observer of the experiences provided by the unconscious. This therapy has been used successfully in many elite athletes who were experiencing low performance. But it has also proved useful for expanding sports performance.
Our holistic view of tennis training has led us to include mental training sessions as part of our work routine. We use innovative Brain Spotting therapy as an additional tool in our sessions. We invite you to try our mental training sessions, which are both innovative and effective.