Recently one of my students asked, “How can I erase the memory of a missed shot and not let it create self-doubt for the rest of my match? Whenever I play a bad match I immediately start to think about how much it has affected my chances of winning that particular event. Negative thoughts start to creep in…it’s hard to rebound from a poor performance.”
As a coach, I usually tell my students that thoughts are just thoughts and to treat them as such. When your brain produces negativity, a single thought doesn’t have the power to become an emotion that will affect your overall performance. However, the more time you devote to that particular thought, the more you empower it to change your overall mood. Negative thoughts generally lead to performance anxiety, which can dramatically decrease your overall level of play.