This month we were lucky enough to catch up with the Fillipo Gioello, the founder of Mental Tennis – The worlds first tennis specific training method, so of course we were intrigued!
As a tennis player I know all about the massively mental demand of the game! How did you get involved in this area of tennis?
My story with Mental Tennis starts from afar, from my adolescence, in fact, it is there when I started competing…
Many years have passed but I still clearly remember those moments when facing competition, I could not even express the 20% of my potential… The feeling was like someone else was commanding my body. My arm suddenly weighed a ton, I was constantly feeling stuck, tense, insecure, and full of doubts, and really could not understand what was happening inside of me. It is truly tremendous to see how such a wonderful sport as tennis, can turn into a real inner hell when you step on court to compete…
But one day, after yet another paralyzed performance, I decided to say stop, I swore to myself that I would rather have thrown all the balls out 10 meters beyond the backline, but I would have played my tennis, releasing my talent and my explosiveness in the shots, instead of being totally held back for fear of making mistakes…
That day, the power of my shots was followed by the screams and liberating roars against that cursed fear that seemed to possess me and I believe that just that day, from that intense inner rebellion of mine, was born Mental Tennis… In fact, I understood how much a person can really be a prisoner of his own thoughts and how much thoughts can in effect condition our behaviour in the field as in life…
How did the idea of setting up a business around this area come about?
I have always understood since I was a little kid, that to really compete properly in this sport, you had to know how to use your mind because if your mind plays against you, it is impossible to win or to reach important goals!
To understand how crucial the mind is in tennis, it would be enough to observe Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, or Serena Williams, in my opinion, those three champions have forever changed the way of playing tennis, inserting mind as a further weapon besides their forehand and backhand!
After leaving my career in 2009 as a Manager for a multinational Swedish company, I dedicated myself to chasing my dreams and so since 2009 I have been working alongside tennis players from all over the world, from amateurs to ATP or WTA professionals and, all these years of experience, have given me the opportunity to create my own personal mental training method that leads players to excel during the competition, and I called it, Mental Tennis.
How important do you rate the mental aspect of the game verses the physical?
Look, I have toured a lot in the circuits and I can tell you that today almost all tennis players are practically exceptional athletes, they are all in super shape, they are all or almost all, attentive to nutrition, they all have their own coach and their own athletic trainer, however, I can tell you that all things being equal, the player who has greater mental strength certainly wins, in any case not to shy away from your question, I will tell you that today if you are able to use your mind as a powerful resource (instead of being the victim of it), counts at least 70% of the success of an athlete, it makes a profound difference in their performance.
Any good tricks to stay focused during a match?
I would tell you that your ability to be focused is something that is directly related to your willpower. Staying focused costs a lot of effort, but this effort can actually determine victory or defeat in a match! The trick I can tell you is to recognize first of all when your mind is prey to thoughts, that are not strictly related to how to win the next point that you are going to play, so it’s up to you to recover it and bring it back to the present moment with an act of will. The higher your willpower is to keep your mind on court, the better will be your chances of winning the match.
How do players engage your company?
They usually contact us through word of mouth from other players or parents who talk to each other, or because they found our web page www.mental-tennis.net among the first search results, or because by following us on social media, they subscribed to our clinics or our online courses and webinars. 6) Do you do group training? Absolutely yes, our webinars are held with homogeneous groups of players or coaches divided by the head coach of the academy. Among our videos uploaded to the official Mental Tennis page you can find group training.
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Mental Tennis a genius and much needed tool for both amateur and professional players around the world. We wish Filippo and the team the very best of luck with this great business