Ace Your Wellbeing: How Tennis Champs Prepare
With the great British summer comes the great British tournament of Wimbledon. In honour of the action taking place on centre court, we asked Neat Ambassador Natalie Pennicotte-Collier – MindCoach for TeamGB and the LTA, to share some tips on how she helps athletes prepare and how those techniques can be transferred to every day life.
Grass Season is upon us! This week, the most iconic British tournament of the year began - the Wimbledon Championships in SW19.
As part of my mindcoaching practice I support the next generation of athletes and tennis is my passion, my game! There is no bigger stage than Wimbledon - it's breathtakingly British and comes with a whole heap of pressure and nerves. So how do they handle that and what can we all learn? How can we all ACE our wellbeing?
We are living in a golden age of wellbeing insight - we know more than ever about the Power of the Mind, neuroscience and how we can 'nudge' our mindset to help us perform when it matters.
Here's the lowdown from my work at the National Camp - for the talent and for everyone:
TeamGB are now looking to hypnotherapy and visualisation to gain that FLOW. Mind & Body need to be in perfect harmony to create those effortless moments of sublime athletic performance. The key is detail: Imagine yourself in 4-D, step by step in slow motion, rehearse your strengths in your mind. Your muscles have memory and by priming your mind with mini movies you can create those extra hours of winning rehearsal.
Play the game you love. PLAY THE BALL, not the moment or opponent. To give this some real-world application, focus on the bigger picture and enjoy the journey without getting caught up in the smaller details.
A good solid Mindfulness practice - to be able to FEEL the FEELS and understand what it feels like to be calm. Master your breathing pattern, take 5 minutes every hour to focus on deep and purposeful breath. Recover after each point and take a moment to exhale with purpose. This is a great one for the work day too. Take five minutes to just breathe. Clear your mind and focus on the inhale and exhale. Finish your mini-break feeling more equipped to tackle your tasks at hand.
The most underrated key recovery tool. We know that sleep is the single biggest influence on our mood, motivation rhythm and mindset. Make sure you prioritise your sleep to allow recovery.
I love that I can trust and recommend NEAT to my junior talent and athletes as it has no nasties and tastes good!
Change your language, we speak 16,000 words a day - imagine the power of those unspoken! Pull out your KEY words: RECOVER, CALM, SHARPNESS - whatever you have been practicing on your technical game - this is the time to amplify your wellbeing. Same goes for off the court – focus on the words that will push you forward, not the excuses that can hold you back.
I’ve been so excited for Wimbledon to start - who's coming? I’ll be there with my talent on 11th July, come say hi and enjoy the Pimms, strawberries and unbelievable play - its about balance right ;)