Mindset Mastery: Unleashing the Mental Strength of Elite Tennis Players for Lacrosse Goalies

Uncategorized Jan 31, 2024


In this edition of the Between the Pipes Newsletter, let's embark on a fascinating exploration of the mental fortitude shared by elite tennis players and lacrosse goalies. The intersection of managing emotions, playing the long game, and dealing with pressure situations forms the bedrock of a champion's mindset. Here's a detailed look into these key elements:

  1. Managing Emotions: The Heart of the Game

Elite tennis players stand tall not just for their physical prowess but for their ability to navigate the complex terrain of emotions on the court. They don't shy away from their feelings; instead, they embrace them as an integral part of their performance. Tennis great Novak Djokovic had this to say about managing self-doubt: “I’ve done so much mindfulness that my brain functions better now automatically … I used to freeze up whenever I made a mistake. Now when I blow a serve or shank a backhand, I still get those flashes of self-doubt- as they come … they do bounce around like crazy, but they’re supposed to, your job is to let them come and go”. As lacrosse goalies, understanding and mastering your emotional landscape during intense moments can be a game-changer. By acknowledging and accepting emotions without letting them dictate your actions, you gain a mental edge that sets you apart.

  1. Playing the Long Game: Beyond Individual Points

The ability to play the long game is a hallmark of tennis aces. Rather than getting emotionally impacted point by point, they maintain a broader perspective focused on the overall match. This principle holds profound implications for lacrosse goalies. Embracing a long-term mindset allows you to stay composed, make strategic decisions, and contribute significantly to your team's success over the course of the game. It's about understanding that the journey, you will get scored on, it’s how you choose to handle the goal that makes the difference. Tennis icon Arthur Ashe had this to say “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.”


  1. Dealing with Pressure Situations: The Final Point and Break Points

Pressure situations like the final point or break points are where tennis aces shine. Their secret lies in focusing on how they show up in the moment and refusing to succumb to future fears. Rafa Nadal once had this to say, “Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy.” As lacrosse goalies, you face your own share of critical moments. Learning from tennis aces, approach these situations with a mindset centered on the present. Control how you show up, channel the intensity positively, and watch as the outcomes align with your unwavering focus on the task at hand.

  1. Controlling the Present: The Power of Now

The shared trait between elite tennis players and lacrosse goalies is the power of controlling oneself in the present moment. While in the goal, focus on the here and now. So much of the position is outside your control, which is one of the big reasons why the position creates so much anxiety.

Execute your skills with precision, maintain composure in high-stakes scenarios, and be fully present in every attempt to see the ball. By controlling your actions in the present, you build a solid foundation for success and contribute significantly to your team's overall performance. Djokovic had this to say, “Be in the present moment. Forget about the past, it’s gone. Your future is going to happen whatever you do. But if you want a better future, you can shape it. Take the means in your hands. Believe it. Create it.”

In conclusion, the mental game transcends sports, connecting athletes across disciplines. By adopting the mindset of elite tennis players, lacrosse goalies can unlock new levels of performance, resilience, and overall team contribution.

Stay tuned for more in-depth insights and actionable tips to elevate your game and conquer the mental challenges on the field.

Best regards,

Tim Cassi // Focus Lacrosse // [email protected]


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