Well, 2015 is here and for me, that always means coming up with a tennis goal or goals that I'd like to achieve in the new year. I've done this for the past several years and sometimes I get there but a lot of times I don't. So this year, I'm approaching my tennis goals in a whole new way. Rather than just having a goal in my mind that I'm working toward, I'm using a simple but powerful tool to help me achieve that goal. And I think this tool can help you too. So let's talk about tennis goals and how to achieve them in 2015. You can listen to this episode by clicking on the media player above or by listening in with your favorite podcast app. You can also subscribe in iTunes by clicking on this link: tennisfixation.com/itunes.
Before we get to the tool that will help you achieve your tennis goals, you may be asking just what do I mean by tennis goals? A tennis goal is the one big thing you undertake in the new year, the one significant thing, that will help take your tennis game up a level, will help you have more fun or confidence on court, or to just increase your enjoyment of the game.
And why should you have a tennis goal in the new year? Well, if you truly want to improve your game, I believe you’ve got to set goals. Specific, measurable and achievable goals. When I’m thinking about the new year and what tennis goal I’d like to adopt, I go over my game and come up with things to work on all of the time. I have a never ending list of things I need to improve in my tennis game. But at the beginning of the year, I always try to come up with that one really special goal, my tennis goal, that I’m going to work to achieve in the new year.
In my recent year-end survey, I asked all of you what your biggest goal is that you'd like to achieve in 2015. And, no surprise, your goals are just like mine. You want to do things like:
- get a better serve,
- become mentally tougher,
- play more consistently in matches,
- increase your tennis fitness, and
- move up a level in your rankings or rating.
And there are plenty of other things you'd like to do and I hope I can give you some tips in this coming year on how to achieve many of those goals.
But in the meantime, I'm using a new tool this year to help me achieve my tennis goals and I think you may want to do the same. And just what is this tool? It's a simple journal. A tennis journal.
Now, in the past, I've told you how I use notes on court. That was called Best Practices for Using Notes on Court and can be found at TennisFixation.com/quicktips51. I'll put a link to that in the show notes for this episode so you can check it out. But a tennis journal is much different using notes on court. This is something that will be a much more in-depth and focused tool that I'll be using on a regular basis.
How exactly is a journal going to help me, and more important, how it can it help you achieve your tennis goals?
First, keeping a journal for your tennis goals, or any other kind of goals for that matter, requires that you write out your goals. You're going to have to put at least a little bit of thought into just what you hope to achieve in adopting a goal.
Second, your journal will become your permanent written record of your progress towards achieving your goals. Sure, it's easy to talk about all of the things you'd like to achieve in this coming year. But sometime around the middle of January, it's just as easy to forget you even had thoughts of tennis goals and leveling up your game. Your tennis journal will be a constant visual reminder of these goal and what you're working towards.
Third, by keeping a journal and actually writing about your goals, you're forced to come up with some kind of plan as to how you'll get there. Saying and thinking about how you'd like to improve your serve is not a plan for improving your serve. Writing it down and then coming up with clear action steps is how you ultimately improve your serve.
Finally, your tennis journal will provide you with accountability. Your journal will always be there, in your tennis bag maybe, on your desk, on your nightstand, reminding you of the goals you're setting right now. Whether or not you will achieve those goals will, in large part, be reflected in what you put down in your journal.
Okay, let's talk about just how to get started with using a tennis journal to achieve your goals.
- Keep your journal simple and portable so that you can carry it with you whenever you play tennis. My tennis journal is a simple notebook that I'm going to write in. I've tried different kinds of apps and electronic ways of keeping notes but, for me, the easiest thing is to have a small notebook that I can carry in my tennis bag. That way, I can take notes and jot down my thoughts as soon as I come off the court if that's what I want.
- Write out your tennis goal for the year right at the beginning of your journal. To get started, that's all you need to do. You don't need to come up with your entire plan of action yet. As time goes by and you keep going back to your journal, you'll start coming up with these action steps. But for now, start your journal with one or two very specific goals that you write out so that you can see them.
- Write something in your journal after every tennis activity. Be sure and write after you play a match, after you take a lesson, after you do a clinic or drills, or even after you just play for fun. Go to your journal and jot down a few lines about how your tennis activity did or did not move you towards your tennis goals and what you need to do in the future to get closer to achieving those.
Undertaking a tennis journal is a new activity for me. I've always had tennis goals that I've adopted at the beginning of each year but I rarely even remember what they are come February. This year, however, I'm keeping this tennis journal and I'll update you periodically as to how I'm doing towards achieving my goals.
And just what are my goals for the coming year? Well, I have three very specific goals:
- I want to play in three singles tournaments,
- I want to get certified to teach Cardio Tennis, and
- I want to add more power and side spin to my serve.
To achieve the first goal, I'm just going to have to sign up for some tournaments. To achieve the second one, I have to take the Cardio Tennis certification course which I've been trying to do for a while now. And for the third goal, I've just started taking a weekly private lesson again so working on my serve will be a priority in my lessons. As usual.
That's the kind of specificity I'm talking about for your tennis journal. So let me know what you think. Will you be putting this tool to work for you? Let me know and let me know just what tennis goals you're working towards in 2015 as I'd love to help you achieve them.
RESOURCES AND LINKS FROM THIS EPISODE:
For information on using notes on court, check out:
Looking for your own tennis goal to achieve this year? Here are a few possibilities you might want to shoot for:
- Play more tennis.
- Play more “fun” tennis.
- Play at a more challenging level.
- Get tennis fit.
- Play more singles.
- Improve your serve.
- Get a real second serve.
- Attend a high-level tennis camp.
- Try a lesson with a new pro.
For more ideas on tennis resolutions and goals for the new year, check out these podcasts and posts:
- Tennis Resolutions That Will Improve Your Game In the New Year (2014) – Tennis Quick Tips Episode 26
- Happy New Year – Top Tennis Resolutions for 2013!
- Top Tennis Resolutions for 2012
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Thanks so much for listening and, as always, Happy Tennis!
© Kim Selzman 2015 All Rights Reserved