Dr. Jorge A. Valverde*

Everybody has a purpose, a destiny.
And each of us has to go through a process
where we grow and mature.

Elite athletes are constantly searching for the edge against their competition in every aspect of their preparation. This implies the willingness to make changes in their routines and habits – their mindset, their attitudes.

Doctor trains players how to prepare mentally


No matter how hard he tried, Andy Magnes couldn't control his temper on the tennis court.

Magnes would miss a shot and he'd rattle off so many obscenities that mothers watching nearby sprinted to cover their children's ears.

He'd lose a set and Magnes would take it out on his racket, slamming it down on the pavement over and over.

Dr. Jorge Valverde

80% To 90% Of The Game Is Mental

By Simone Templeton

Throwing your racquet, mumbling on the court, sulking, eyes wandering all over the place, consciously thinking on the court, sitting on the changeover and watching the people on the court adjacent to yours - these are all signs of mental weakness.

To avoid this self-defeating behavior, many coaches encourage mental toughness, a skill that is required to reach your potential as a tennis player. You may have asked yourself the question before, “How important is mental toughness in tennis?”

Dr. Jorge Valverde

Anytime we go where we have never been, or try something we have never done before, fear will be present. It will always stand between us and anything worth doing. But the good news is, each time we conquer it, we feel a surge of self-respect and gain a level of confidence we never had before. It is our choice!

Fear materializes in our mind as a little voice that reminds us of the failures we experienced in the past and their negative consequences. And it warns us of what consequences we will face if we fail again, for instance:

Dr. Jorge Valverde

My child does not want to work on the mental toughness.

If parents let their children do what they want to do, that means that children are in control of their own development. For example, most children do not want to brush their teeth, go to bed early, eat vegetables, drink water, be organized, stretch, etc. They just want to play and have fun! However, most parents know the difference between what their children want and what they need.

Please answer this short questionnaire before reading this article.

Yes No

[ ] [ ] I frequently interrupt my children when they speak to me.

[ ] [ ] I have a hard time listening to my teenager's arguments.

[ ] [ ] I usually do not deliver what I promise to my children.

[ ] [ ] I "fight" with my spouse in front of my children.

[ ] [ ] My children often complain that my behavior embarrasses them.

[ ] [ ] I think that my children's bad behavior is due to influences outside the family.

1. During a match, you are actually hitting the ball only about 25% of the time, the rest of the time you are just thinking about what is going on. This is why tennis is such a mental game.

2. When you play up to your potential, you are thinking very little on the court and your behavior and performance on the court are controlled by your “automatic pilot,” your subconscious mind.

By Dr. Jorge Valverde

1. Do everything with a sense of destiny, focusing on your mission to become the best player that you can possibly be -- accomplishing that mission regardless of the circumstances you may face.

2. In your mind, turn every situation into an opportunity that benefits you. The key here is to be persistently optimistic.