New sports psychologist motivates tennis players for upcoming season

Maya Amjadi/News Editor

Walk in the weight room at Cedar Falls High School and you’ll find several off-season sports are represented there. Jocks are lifting more than their own mass in weights, but the women’s tennis team members have a new trick up their tennis skorts.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how much we improve [our record] because we have improved so much over the last two years, and it always makes the team happy to see how much we progress from the year before,” junior Halle Benson said.

Break points, approach shots and aces, coming from mini skort wearing, athletic divas proves the women’s tennis team has been training hard throughout the off-season. “Our tennis team has been working very hard all summer and will continue to do so throughout the off-season. I think our team has incredibly improved since last season, and I look forward to meeting the new members of our team. Tennis is the most important sport I play, and I feel it’s a sport you play for life. It helps in every aspect of your life,” team captain senior Katie Todd said.

Last year’s record haunts the team as they continue to play match after match; committing to rally more matches on the winning side of the record for the 2012 season. The entire team has this desire for success. Athletes throughout the roster have been working hard all summer long and plan to take lessons at the tennis club to keep their tennis skills intact.
By following a point system Coach Knox implemented (which consists of receiving points per month for playing matches or going to lessons), the tennis players will train to keep the physical aspect of their games throughout the off-season. However, according to Coach Knox, this is not the only aspect that is important to win this year.

Coach Knox contacted Keith Schmidt, founder and president of SportsMind Success. The principles he teaches to athletes from high schools, colleges, professional positions and the Olympics all focus on having the mindset of a champion. The team is excited to meet with Schmidt this month to discuss goals and learn what it is to be a champion.

“We’ve all been working hard this summer to improve our games. We are all going to continue to work throughout the winter so we can drastically improve our record this season.

Tennis is more than just your strokes and your serve. It is very mental. Hopefully meeting with the sports psychologist will improve our mental game and allow us to win more,” team captain junior Hannah Mallaro said.

Although physical ability and talent are important for winning sporting events universally, they alone cannot make a conference champion team. Mental ability and will power are characteristics of even more importance to a winning athlete.

“Tennis is a really mental sport. I have learned that if you have the wrong mind set, you’re more likely to make more errors. It will be good for the team to learn how to mentally prepare for our matches and always have a positive attitude,” Benson said.

The women’s team will use mental toughness as well as clarity, intuition, self-esteem and personal power to push all the way to conference champs this year. Those, along with their biceps of steel and deltoids of iron, that is.

Class of 2014

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