Scream like You’re Losing if You Want to Win

Following the Wimbledon final, we’ve decided to take a look at tennis. One thing which seems universal across the world of tennis is their ability to scream at each other. Whether you’re watching men, women or children play, there’s a signature grunt after every swing which lets you know that tennis is happening. Considering no other sport seems to scream or grunt as much as they do in tennis, is there a reason for it, or is it just a weird tennis thing?

As it turns out, there’s actually a very good reason for it – two in fact. Tennis, like golf, is a sport where the crowd are expected to remain silent. If you’ve ever been to a professional tennis match you’ll know that the game will not start until you can hear a pin drop. This is because tennis is a mind game just as much as it is a game of physical exertion. Let’s be honest – the sound of silence punctuated by the rhythmic thwack of the racket followed by a shrill grunt or scream is disconcerting for everybody watching. The important point here is that screaming is cathartic – it relaxes the person doing the screaming. On the other hand, it serves to throw off the person at the other end of the court.

The classic “come on” which is shouted at the opponent really does psyche out the opponent. Sharapova’s “come on” is the thing of nightmares, striking fear into the hearts of not just the opponent but anyone watching. Petra Kvitova’s Czech equivalent “pojd” serves the same purpose. Controlled studies have shown that when players weren’t allowed to scream, reactions were delayed by as much as 33 milliseconds. That may not seem like a lot but considering the world record fastest serve was 163.7mph (Samuel Groth, 2012), 0.33s is a long time to delay. If you can throw your opponent off for even a fraction of a second, you have the upper hand.

Tennis isn’t simply mind games though – skill, strength and speed are crucial when it comes to placing the ball exactly where you want it to go. Tennis isn’t the only sport where players shout either. Ask any martial artist and they will tell you that there’s a very good physical reason to kiai (shout) after a strike. This shout not only empties the chest cavity, reducing the change of getting winded by a counterattack, but allows you to strike your opponent with maximum strength. The same goes for tennis – if you want to hit the ball as hard as possible, shout as you hit it.

So when you’re standing there in your new custom tennis clothing this summer, bouncing the ball on the floor before you look up to serve, remember why it is that you scream. Relax, focus, and remember our advice here at Team Colours – scream like you’re losing if you want to win.

5 Players to Watch at Wimbledon 2015

Here at Team Colours we love tennis. Tennis players, tennis courts, tennis wear – we love it all. With the Wimbledon tennis tournament coming up fast we’ve taken a look at the top 5 tennis players to watch out for this summer. These five men and women have proven time and again that they have what it takes on the court, delivering result, after result, after result. In fact, we would go so far as to say that these 5 are some of the greatest tennis players of all time. We hope you’re excited for the tournament to start at the end of June – remember that if these tennis prodigies inspire you to get out there and practice your serve, you can get all of the custom tennis clothing you need right here at Team Colours today.

Roger Federer

Singles Ranking: 2

Having played a total of 36 Grand Slams to the quarter-finals, with a record 17 wins among those, Roger Federer is undoubtedly one of the greatest tennis players to have ever hit the court. This Swiss tennis star is the player which young and upcoming tennis prodigies aspire to be. A player who is as graceful as he is skilful, Roger Federer is the player to watch if you’re looking to pick up on the techniques the pros use. Federer last won the Wimbledon tournament back in 2012, and is one of the favourites to take home the trophy this year.

The Williams Sisters

Singles Rankings: Serena (1) Venus (16)

These two sisters are famous in tennis. Everywhere you go, their names are spoken – not surprising considering they have both won both Wimbledon and the US Open. This pair of sisters are both impressive on the court, but considering Serena last won Wimbledon back in 2012, most tennis fans are expecting incredible results from her again this year.

Rafael Nadal

Singles Ranking: 10

The man from Mallorca is known for his tenacity on the court and his willingness to fight for every single point. This relentless determination is what got him through a severe knee injury which critics thought would end his career. Instead this Spaniard came back stronger than ever. With eight French Open titles under his belt, Rafael Nadal is undoubtedly the greatest clay-court player of all time.

Martina Hingis

Singles Ranking: Unranked

Hingis has not taken part in Wimbledon’s Singles event since 2007. That being said, there’s no doubting Hingis’ abilities on the court. With five grand slam titles and a win-loss record that puts others to shame, Hingis has been a tennis pro since the ripe old age of 14 and even spent an impressive 209 weeks as the world’s number one player. After damaging the ligaments in both of her ankles in 2002, Hingis was forced to withdraw from professional tennis, but it appears that she is finally ready to make a comeback. We don’t know how Martina Hingis will fare this year, but with her impressive history, she will definitely be a player worth watching.

Novak Djokovic

Singles Ranking: 1

The winner of last year’s Wimbledon men’s singles tournament, and at least one international tournament every year since 2011, Novak Djokovic is definitely a player worth watching. 2011 was a particularly good year for this Serbian star, when he claimed an impressive 10 titles, including 10 Grand Slams. Haven beaten the likes of Federer and Nadal, with an impressive career Win-Loss record of 645-143, Djokovic is another of the favourites to win Wimbledon this year. Keep an eye on him if you’re looking for ways to improve your game.

Sports Hypnosis-Why It Can Make You A Top Performer

Tactics for football, netball, golf, basketball, and all sports that you can imagine don’t always just come down to training and a clever game plan.  Psychological elements have become increasingly important and these can include the use of hypnosis, NLP (neuro linguistic programming) and the choice of colours for football kits, netball kits, basketball kits, golf clothing and so on.

Hypnosis has been used by professional athletes and Olympic teams for many years now, to give them a mental advantage over their opponents. If you take part in sport you will be familiar with those annoying moments that happen when some distracting thought, self-doubt, lack of certainty or some bad habit cuts through your performance, for what may be a tiny moment in time.  Yet this tiny moment in time has just lost you the flow of concentrated play, and in retrospect, this tiny moment in time is what changed the outcome of the game.  And you lost.

This is where hypnosis can help.  Sports hypnosis gives players and athletes the ability to perform automatically with the best techniques. Hypnosis opens the subconscious mind to accept and achieve perfection.  Playing any sport competitively requires an eighty per cent mental focus and agility.  Hypnosis can trigger this state of being.  One example of a famous sports personality who uses sports hypnosis is Tiger Woods.

Although many people have strange ideas about hypnosis, due to stage hypnosis, hypnosis is nothing more than a relaxed state of consciousness.  A therapist can create an environment in the subconscious mind where stress and relaxation cannot live together.

This then enables a player/athlete to be unaware of distracting thoughts and results in a fluid, automatic sports performance. This can and is also used by amateur players who wish to play their sport as well as possible, for enjoyment and of course the pleasure of a top performance.

Through hypnosis a therapist can access and guide the outcome to a response, so that an athlete reacts without compensation, hesitation and with the proper techniques.  Think about that feeling that comes when driving, kind of on auto-pilot, when your reactions seem like second nature and it seems to be effortless.  This is how it feels like to be hypnotised.  There is nothing weird about it, in fact it is natural and healthy state.  It is in this state that you can achieve success in your sport, or for that matter, any given area, with less effort.

For sports people, whether professional or amateur, the therapist can weed out any bad habits or counter-productive thought patterns or responses and will work with you to replace these at a subconscious level with better strategies, that will come to you automatically when you play the sport after the required amount of hypnosis sessions.

If you are reading this and are wondering how many sessions you will need, there is no rule of thumb.  Each person is different and the great thing about sports hypnosis is that you will know yourself when you feel that great natural confidence and automatic ability to play to your best ability.

Let’s take a quick look at the difference between the subconscious and the conscious mind.  The conscious mind is where we store logic, reasoning, analysis and decision making.  In the subconscious we house identifications, associations and learned responses.

Examples of the subconscious mind at work are when we are walking.  We do not have to make a decision to place one foot after the other foot. So with sports hypnosis we are working with ensuring that the habits in the subconscious mind are positive and will enable a top sports performance.  Hypnosis is often used in conjunction with guided imagery and visualization.  Depending on the sport and player/athlete, this can be customised to include the most relevant and meaningful images.  A good therapist will walk you through very detailed guided imagery, which could include descriptions of the stadium, football kits, netball kits, combined with the feeling of excitement as you score that goal or whatever your sports aim is.

Sports Role Models-Why They Are Critical To Our Society

Being the wrong side of twenty one, my sports role models may not be familiar to all of you reading this; but you can probably identify with the feelings of intense admiration, respect and motivation that a sports role model can inspire.

Sports role models can potentially bring out numerous positive traits of a human’s character. For young people these sporting heroes can be extremely motivating and be the perfect influence for a young developing mind and body to grasp life in a positive, determined way.

No-one needs to state the obvious about how these days good role models from any walk of life are needed more than ever, but of course sports role models encourage fitness as well as positive character traits.

With obesity in adults having doubled in the UK since the mid 1980s, and a report in the Daily Telegraph pointing out that overweight parents are helping the cycle repeat by over feeding their children, sports role models are more necessary than ever.

One of my sports role models was Nadia Comaneci, who was the gymnast who won three Olympic gold medals in the 1976 Olympics and 2 gold medals in the 1980 Olympics.  Not only did she win these five Olympic gold medals but she was the first gymnast ever to be awarded the perfect score of 10 in the Olympics.  Perfection, a hard act to follow, but very inspirational!

Nadia Comaneci
Nadia Comaneci

She inspired me to train six days a week under a tough trainer.  When she was on TV, I used to absorb her every move and analyse why the judges gave her certain scores, so that I could learn something each time.

My other sports role model was Bjorn Borg and by watching both him and Nadia Comaneci, I learnt a lot about mental strength, discipline, determination, technique, persistence and passion.  I won some medals in both sports but what has been far more important is the character practices that I gained from those years of training and participating.

The sport is not important, what is important is encouraging young people to enjoy some sport and build positive character traits.  If a young person goes on to be excellent in their sport, this is wonderful but the most vital issue is the encouragement and motivation for life that they can learn from the right model.

Let’s look at women’s football, for example, which is turning pro in Great Britain-this is a great example of persistence against the odds.  Women footballers have put up with 90 years of condescension before finally beginning to receive some of the acclaim that they deserve.

After their 5-2 defeat to Atletico Madrid Feminas, the Liverpool Ladies FC team are sitting in a bar in Spain.  Do we see them drowning their sorrows?  No, they are dissecting the match and excited about the positive future of women’s football.   In fact the entire team know that for them to reach the heights of their sport, they have had to stay in while their non-football friends go out partying!

Top Tennis Players-Being Cool Can Make You A Champion

Unlike team sports, tennis is either a one on one game or played two against two in the case of doubles.  This makes for a different type of competition and some of the most skilled players can let themselves down by lacking mental control.

Whether you play tennis just for fun or fitness or you are a serious competitive player you will have noticed your own patterns of frustration when you miss shots you feel you should have got to or you will have trained yourself to let go and move on from these situations with a cooler head.

Bjorn Borg is an excellent example of a player who almost always kept a cool head.  Between 1976 and 1980 Borg pulled off five successive victories and also had three successive years winning the most difficult double in tennis – victory on Wimbledon grass and on the French Open clay courts.

Bjorn Borg french open
Bjorn Borg French Open

Borg’s best qualities were his mental strength, speed around the court and heavily top spun ground strokes. His mental strength rescued him four times from looming defeat during his years of success at Wimbledon.

In 1981 he was between by John McEnroe who was the legend who played tennis with a temper. The matches between Borg and McEnroe were incredible to watch both for the tennis and the chalk and cheese personalities of these two great players.

Even if you play tennis just for fun and exercise it can be a more enjoyable experience if you learn how to control your mind.  If however you are training to play competitively learning this skill is a must so that that you don’t disturb your game with loss of concentration by living in your past mistakes.

Pete Sampras said: “You need the game, you need the heart, and you need the mind.” Tennis playing involves mental challenges however anyone can train to improve their mental aspect of the game.  In the same way as the physical side of the game of tennis, the mental side takes time and practice to learn.

Many tennis players get lost in the emotional turbulence during the match and end of playing tennis below their real potential.  This process can often start with pre-match nerves and turn into an unmanageable emotional rollercoaster during the match.

These days Rafa Nadal is another great player who has the “never say die” mental attitude.  His game of tennis is full of perseverance, fight and a touch mental attitude. Nadal was first coached by his uncle Tony and another uncle is a former professional soccer player.  It could be said that Nadal has it in his genes to some extent, but it can be learnt.