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How does a Tennis Player overcome a Stagnant Performance?

No one likes a stagnant performance. Frustrating to disheartening to somewhere in between is typically descriptive of various emotions that are felt at the multitude of stages that occur within this spiral to the feeling of being ‘stuck’ with a near combustion of sorts to move beyond these current confines to burst free. Sound familiar?

Whether you’re that tennis player of tennis coach — or coach and/or athlete for that matter, this is essentially universal irrespective the sport you play. That’s one of the best parts of my work in that it is what I term cross-sectional as it traverses across countless sports and not just tennis. However, tennis is my bread and butter and the sport that has been in my DNA throughout my personal to professional career and forms the baseline for this work with a greater bias towards the ‘tennis’ landscape. Back to it. 

These varying emotions that are by no means pleasant present a barrier to be broken — to be knocked down and stomped on to move past with gusto and ascend towards that next level of performance. What I term your baseline of play and/or performance — something I’ve harked on about and shared a multiple of times on Beyond Top 10 Tennis, is a measure of your current state of play that is to be built up through various stages of peak performance cycles. Sound familiar? I hope so. If not, check back to our episodes.

But where am I going? A stagnant performance is colloquial in a manner of speaking for a performance plateau whereby a tennis player becomes stuck at a given level.

This level is typically correlated with a player’s given ranking at the time on either the WTA and/or ATP tour with varying ranges. Whether that is Top 300 to Top 200 or between the ranking range of 150 to 100 — hovering on the brink of ascending inside the Top 100, countless players go through these ‘plateaus’ for the simple reason that there are only 100 given ranking places on either tour. Essentially, that’s 200 collectively and room for no more. Which means, you either have a baseline equipped with holding that level of play that is correlated with a Top 100 ranking and/or you quite simply do not.

Oh, but no way is it that easy? I hear a lot of that and fortunately it just isn’t true. Countless newcomers break into the Top 100 near on every week and on the flip side, countless other players regress outside the Top 100. And it isn’t just this ranking range. Performance fluctuates and these baselines are no more. They either remain stagnant — not as bad as it may seem, in contrast to a regression; however, a progression is most favourable and what we’re really after.

In order to overcomes this hurdle of being ‘stuck’ with the noted consequence quite literally more probable to regress outside your current ranking range — be that Top 10, Top 50 or Top 100, your baseline needs to become more solidified and robust to give you a fighting chance to progress. And if you’ve been listing to Beyond Top 10 Tennis and putting time aside to read these Blog pieces on a weekly basis, then you’re incredibly familiar with the key terms assimilated with these perofmrnaues that begin to correlate with not only a Top 10 tennis ranking, but the kind of performances that garner Grand Slam success — on a rolling basis.

It’s pretty unreal to say the least. But just to be sure, it’s all backed by science which makes it even more mind-blowing.

So what is a tennis player to do when their ranking hovers and those progressions are near whimsical and their ranking is on the brink of slipping backwards? Remember those 7 Keys — it’s time to take action. Recall my latest release: How to Develop a Top 10 Tennis Ranking: the Power of the 8th Key? That’s your calling. From 7 ‘metrics’ to the 8th ‘metric’ that unites them all, these eight rulers are guideposts for your performance. And the best part? You guessed it — 100% backed by science.

Now I know education gets a bad wrap and not every tennis player and/or coach wants to pop on open a book for fear that maybe there really is something they’re yet to learn or know, but sadly there is somewhat of a stigma for WTA and ATP tour coaches of ‘knowing’ everything already which is really disheartening for the tennis player. After all, most players rely on their coaches to up-skill and be the bedrock — responsible for passing down that knowledge. So please, don’t hold your player back by fear of learning something new that perhaps you don’t yet know or don’t really understand — the understanding will come over time, that’s something I can promise you.

But it’s not as easy as it always seems for good reason.

By learning or up-skilling or enhancing your education — irrespective where you’re at, this is what is needed if not demanded for a tennis coach to progress their player and to move them out of that stagnant zone and/or that performance plateau. But first things first is one book at a time until you reach the latest climax that runs it all home.

Ah, but you want all the answers right here and now? Sure, I can understand that. But as I’ve previously shared, by doing that would be a disservice to you and your player. Why? Quite simply, that’s what the data has said over the last 12 Years and counting and when we look at human behaviour to learning schematics and an assortment of behavioural psychology, all of this continues to run true. But per design, if you take the steps to learn through the framework depicted at AM8 International — from The Pathway to The Long Game you will snap out of the plateau and your current baseline will begin to shift.

Even better? The more the 8 Keys become solidified into a tennis player’s game, that Top 10 tennis ranking is not simply within reach, but so too is Grand Slam success. And I’ll end on that there’s a reason why it has been scientifically established that 92% of tennis players and coaches on the WTA and ATP tours do not know what it takes to ascend to and maintain a Top 10 tennis ranking, and why 8% do know but at the same rate, 2% of the Top 10 will lose their grip on their baseline each and every season. 

It’s a cutthroat world and tennis is no different. Use the 8 Keys to your advantage.

To learn more about AM8 International check out our selections of Books to options to join Dr B’s Pack to gain exclusive access to the best in the world. Not quite ready? Head on over to Beyond Top 10 Tennis for free to access 75+ episodes directly from Dr Berge of what it really takes to win multiple Grand Slams to securing that Top 10 tennis ranking. More? Catch up on our Tips over on TikTokTwitterThreads or Instagram for quick snippets to apply in your game, today.