Stressing In: Optimizing Energy Levels for Peak Performance
If you have ever started watching a match during the French Open, which starts in just a few weeks, later in the contest you may have thought that both players had been running non-stop for hours, considering how sweaty and fatigued each looked, especially if you picked up the match in the 5th set. But, amazingly, each point in tennis lasts only about seven seconds, and in a given hour, you’d be lucky to see more than 10 minutes of actual tennis! That means three quarters of a match are spent simply trying to recover from a few seconds of effort! It seems that tennis players like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Maria Sharapova have developed specific mental skills that allow them to play each point with unbelievable energy, then quickly recover and prepare themselves to do it all again. Proper energy management is one of the key skills that make it possible for someone to play the first and last points of any match with the same amount of energy.
Finding the Proper Tension
Many people have been told that in order to perform their best there can be no stress-related tension, but that’s not the case. Think about it: If you’ve ever tried hitting a tennis ball with a loosely strung racket (not enough string tension), the shot lacked any meaningful power. Similarly, with a racket that was strung too tightly, you may have hit the ball powerfully, but with little accuracy. This same concept can be applied to your optimal energy state: No tension can result in little power, competitiveness, or determination, while too much tension/stress can lead to a loss of physical and mental composure. Just as a coach helps develop tennis-specific skills, APEX Peak Performance Trainers help develop the mental skills associated with finding that optimal level of energy. The key here is to find the level of tension/stress/energy that works for you and develop ways to get yourself into that optimal energy zone in all critical performance situations.