Exclusive tips from Stefan Edberg, a former world number one, who has been training with Roger Federer. Here’s his advice on ’How to stay calm on court’.
Learn from the best
“When I was growing up in Sweden, we looked up at Bjorn Borg and saw how he behaved on the court, how he stayed calm and dealt with everything. Yes, you can’t be someone you’re not, so if you have a temper you’re still going to have that temper, and you have to let it all out. But you need to control yourself. I was always a naturally calm person, but I think you can learn a lot from watching players who stay calm, to see that it’s possible.”
Train your mind
“Sometimes it takes time to change your approach. Look at Federer, he used to be more emotional on court, and he taught himself to be calmer on court. As you get older, you realise that tennis is very complicated – there are so many elements that go into it – and the mind is very important. You have to train the mind. Start from trying to have a good approach to practice sessions, and that will carry over into matches.”
“Sometimes, you have to accept that your opponent is going to do a better job than you at hitting the ball. You have to realise that there was nothing you could have done about it, and think, ‘Okay, fine, now it’s my turn to hit a great shot’. It’s all about psychology. There are going to be frustrations on court, but think positively. The great thing about tennis is that you can play lousy shots for an hour, and still win the match. That’s not possible in other sports – in golf, if you have played lousy shots for an hour, and started your round with three triple bogeys, you would have no chance. In tennis, you’re still in the match. Remember that.”