The art of visualisation is one of the skills of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). Training your mind to visualise a positive event, this can take help take negative thoughts away and aid you gain the outcome you are looking for.
Developing the skill of visualisation is one that takes time and patience. We all know when we are working with children especially our own children; time and patience are not always in abundance.
However what we can help our children with, is one aspect of visualisation and that is developing a performance routine. Probably one of the most memorable performance routines was the one used by Jonny Wilkinson prior to taking a penalty kick. The squat, the cupping of the hands, the looking up at the rugby post, look at the ball, look at the posts, look at the ball and then run and kick the ball. In the world of tennis we can look at Andy Murray always taking three balls or Rafa Nadal’s idiosyncrasies prior to serving are almost a performance routine. Whether we want our children to spend a considerable time adjusting their shorts is a debateable point!
Virtually every player has a problem with their serve at some point especially on pressure points and developing a performance routine for the serve is something we can work on with our children and go through prior to them going to sleep.
My son and I developed the following performance routine, which we would act out in an evening and visualise the ball going over the net and in!
1) Adjust racquet strings
2) Select a ball
3) Deep breath
4) Approach base line
5) Position feet
6) Chopper grip
7) Look at the ball
8) Look at the target
9) Think of the serve going in
10) Say “Hit through”
11) Toss ball & serve
We wrote this on a few pieces of card, one he used as a bookmark and another he had in his tennis bag.
Why don’t you try writing a performance routine with your child and see if helps their serving confidence?