In the January/February 2013 issue of Shape magazine, I came across this interesting suggestion:
When nerves strike on the court, field or green, squeeze a ball or make a tight fist with your left hand. A new study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General found that athletes who did this before a high-pressure feat – such as serving a ball or completing a judo kick – performed significantly better than those who clenched their other hand. Researchers believe the trick activates the right side of your brain, which is responsible for automatic behaviors, and it prevents you from overthinking the task.
I gave this a try in the last match I played and, while I'm not saying my serve dramatically improved, I did win the match. Coincidence? Hmmm . . .
My recommendation – try activating the right side of your brain in your next tennis match. It can't hurt. And I hope you'll let me know if it actually helps!