Have you ever been totally  focused on one thing you really love doing? This week’s teen contributor is and shares 4 ways she works on her skills.

Grace, 15

I play a lot of tennis and it’s a lot of work to stay on top of my mental and physical game.  Here’s how I do it.

1. Be in really good shape

You need to be in really good shape to be able to move on the court.  You also have be able to run for a long time because you can have very long matches and you have to stay on top, and keep going no matter what.

So to stay in shape I play a lot of tennis, of course!  I also get a lot of exercise outside of the sport. I don’t belong to a gym, but I made my own workout that works every part of your body. Eating the right foods is also a major way of staying in shape not just for tennis or sports. Healthy eating it’s just good for you in general.

2. Get  your mental game down

You have to be able to say focused and on top of your game at all times.  What does that mean? Well, you have to learn how to deal with losing or not playing how you wanted.  Sometimes that can lead to getting really mad. When that happens it can cost you a lot of points, games, or even the entire match.

3. Stay motivated

You have to have a lot of motivation to be able to keep yourself in shape and keep doing all of the right things for your body.  If you don’t have the motivation it just makes everything harder. Why? Because you won’t have the drive to do the things that you need to do to compete.  Some things that I do to say in the game mentally is to let the bad shots/points go and just focus on the point that you’re playing in the moment.

4. Be in the zone

You really need to stay in your “zone” for tennis. That means you have to let everything go and just focus on the game.  When you’re on the court you can’t let things bother you. You have to have your head in the game because distractions can cost you playing time or matches.  The mental game is a huge part of tennis because that’s the heart of the game.

Tennis is an amazing sport; I imagine that it’s similar in other competitive sports.  You have to have the drive to be a good player. You have to practice and be totally committed.  You need to want it. You can’t just mess around and expect to be good!


Grace is a freshman in high school. Her main interests are sports (no surprise) and music.

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