The creation of a mental skills training program in elite youth tennis: A coach-driven approach to developing resilient, confident competitors

In this paper, we describe the development and content of a mental skills training (MST) program and how a strength and conditioning coach/certified mental coach delivered this program within a United States Tennis Association (USTA) Player Development (PD) program. The purpose of the MST program was to create resilient, confident youth tennis competitors. Specific mental strategies (i.e., journaling, routines, breathing, imagery, self-talk) were identified to best meet the objectives of the MST program and were delivered using a three-pronged approach: (a) classroom lessons, (b) strength and conditioning sessions and on-court lessons, and (c) homework assignments. Specific ways that the USTA PD coaches reinforced the use of these strategies during tennis practice are described. Recommendations for coaches to integrate an MST program in high-performance youth sport environments are also provided.
© Copyright 2020 International Sport Coaching Journal. Human Kinetics. All rights reserved.

Subjects: coaching coach educational training mental training elite sport programme tennis USA
Notations: training science academic training and research sport games
DOI: 10.1123/iscj.2019-0012
Published in: International Sport Coaching Journal
Published: 2020
Volume: 7
Issue: 1
Pages: 74-81
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced