Gestalt-Tennis is an innovative and gratifying holistic technique to improve your tennis experience and your well-being, no matter if you are a complete beginner or an advanced player wishing to elevate your match performance. It aims at improving your skills by focusing on the present moment and on your physical and emotional awareness while you play. Its main principles are:

  • Develop an holistic feel of playing tennis rather than the rational knowledge of it.

  • It is centred on mindful breathing while playing.

  • It explores emotions emerging while playing.

  • Make each player the bespoke designer of their own progress.

With specific exercises and progressions, Gestalt-Tennis aims at integrating these principles into your game so that you will develop exponentially, enabling a deeper connection with and control of your body and emotions, and unleash your full potential no matter if you are a beginner or an advanced player looking to improve your match performance.

More specifically, alongside traditional technical and tactical advice, Gestalt-Tennis explores the following:

  • Mindful Breathing: this practice - perhaps familiar through Yoga or Pilates - has been adapted to the specific characteristics of tennis. Players are invited to focus on their breathing, and experience how to control breathing helps to control the movements of the body, therefore to control racket-ball-point.

  • Emphasis on Body Awareness: Encouraging players to develop a deep awareness of their entire body while playing tennis. This includes exploring and being mindful of their movements, balance and physical sensations. By cultivating this awareness, players can enhance their connection with the game and improve their overall performance.

  • Focus on the ‘here and now’ represented by the ball: Gestalt principles emphasise being fully present in the current moment. It helps players to let go of distractions and previous mistakes, and instead, channel their attention into the present moment during practice and matches. This can help them make better instinctive decisions and perform at their best.

  • Engage the senses: Encourages players to engage and trust all their senses while playing tennis. This includes paying attention to the sound of the ball, the feel of the racket in their hands, the sight of the court, and even the smell of the surroundings. Engaging the senses helps players create a rich and immersive experience, enhancing their connection with the game.

  • Encourage intuitive decision-making: Gestalt-Tennis value intuitive decision-making based on the whole context rather than relying solely on analytical thinking. It fosters an environment where players can trust their senses and instincts and make split-second decisions based on their intuitive perception. Traditional technical and tactical advice will also be offered; yet only to help experience how every incoming ball might be similar to others and yet, just like snowflakes, they are unique. Every response will be different and detailed in a way that only your senses can produce. This will help reduce rational and emotional impositions on the game, facilitating instead playing in 'the zone' or 'the flow', that particular state in which body, mind and emotions are in perfect harmony with the game. This can lead to more fluid and effective responses on the court.

  • Explore the emotions: Alongside the development of physical self-awareness, attention is given to emotional experiences arising while playing and to what playing tennis really means to the player; this can be helpful to identify eventual interferences preventing a full enjoyment of the game.

  • Cultivate unity with the context: Help players develop a sense of unity with the tennis court, racket, ball and even the opponent, encouraging seeing them as a dancing partner though the ball rather than an adversary. This mindset fosters a greater sense of harmony and connection, leading to improved performance.

For more information:

  • Read my article on Coaching & Sport Science Review, the scientific journal published by the International Tennis Federation. (Also available in Spanish and French)

  • Watch my interview with Mark Tennant, founder and director of Inspire2Coach