Showing posts with label tennis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tennis. Show all posts

Monday 1 April 2024

Jannik Sinner benefits from high-tech mental training from Dr. Ceccarelli

As far as I am concerned, Janik Skinner is the best tennis player in the world today because he has worked extensively on his mental processes. He's done this to an extent and in a way which is different to other tennis players. 

Jannick Sinner at practice. Image: by si.robi - Sinner MCM23 (8), CC BY-SA 2.0,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=132685340

He has outstripped the progress of Carlos Alcaraz who appears to have stalled his progress and even gone backwards slightly. I think we can distinguish these two top players in one definitive way: Jannik Sinner has employed a psychologist involved with improving the performance of F1 drivers, Doctor Ricardo Ceccarelli while Carlos Alcaraz has not.

There was a notable improvement in Jannik Sinner's performances about a year ago and he has dominated since. So how does Ceccarelli work?

How does Dr Ceccarelli work to help Jannik Sinner?


Dr. Ricardo Ceccarelli, renowned for his work in Formula 1, plays a crucial role in Jannik Sinner’s mental preparation and performance improvement. Let’s delve into the details:
  1. Background and Collaboration:

    • Ceccarelli has been an integral part of Sinner’s team since 2020.
    • In September 2021, a collaboration emerged between Formula Medicine (founded by Ceccarelli) and the Piatti Tennis Center. Together, they established a ‘Mental Economy gym’ dedicated to athletes’ mental preparation, including Sinner.
  2. Methodology:

    • Ceccarelli’s approach focuses on enhancing an athlete’s self-awareness.
    • They create scenarios where Sinner associates specific sensations (like anger, discouragement, fatigue, calmness, and effectiveness) with moments in his matches.
    • They use a joystick for computerized tests, monitoring brain activity (via a frontal band) and heartbeat.
    • The goal is to understand how Sinner’s brain functions under different conditions, ultimately improving his effectiveness in tennis.
  3. Results:

    • Within two months of implementing this program, the 22-year-old broke into the world’s top 10 rankings.
    • Ceccarelli’s system has contributed significantly to Sinner’s mental toughness and overall performance.

In summary, Dr. Ceccarelli’s innovative approach combines psychology, technology, and personalized training to elevate Jannik Sinner’s mental game on the tennis court. 🎾🧠

Sinner said: "It is very different from having a coach or a sports psychologist because in those cases you have a conversation with that person and try to find solutions. What I do is different because we dedicate ourselves to solving exercises on a computer and we calculate the performance of my brain when it comes to finding solutions to the problems I encounter in these exercises."

He added that, "repetition makes me automate the processes and my brain is more efficient and works better under pressure and in extreme situations. It helps me a lot because it makes me have to understand why things happen and I can analyse them in detail [and that] we have been working with this methodology for a few years and I feel that it is working very well. I have improved significantly in this mental aspect."

I believe Cessarelli employs a process called Mental Economy Training to sharpen the mind and make it tougher so that it works far more efficiently in the heat for battle on the tennis court.

Mental Economy Training® is able to evaluate and improve the main aspects of the mental sphere including:

  • Self-awareness
  • Mental flexibility and adaptability
  • Self-confidence
  • Decision making ability
  • Multitasking skills
  • Resistance to stress
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Teamwork

A couple of extra things are worth mentioning. He has the best and most powerful forehand (probably) and he has made significant improvements in his movement which means he is a better defender. Lastly he says that he can improve his dropshot and his volleying. He is working on these aspects of the game. He is set for dominance similar to that experienced by the big three for so long.

Alcaraz would be well to observe what has happened and do something similar to improve his mentality. I have felt that Alcaraz has dopped off mentally recently. A lack of motivation. It is hard though to maintain motivation at the top. Look at Björn Borg Borg who retired very young and in his prime because he no longer enjoyed it.

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Sunday 3 March 2024

Emma Raducanu should wear a glove

Yes, I know that this is nothing to do with cats! But I have run out of things to say about cats so that's it. And I've thought about Emma Raducanu on and off for a while. I've concluded that she should wear a glove on her right hand. It would be a kangaroo skin glove of the same type worn by professional golfers.


The reason why I have suggested this is because in the past, as you might remember, she has suffered from blisters to her right hand. This is are going to be a problem for a tennis player who is not playing a lot of competitive tennis which would apply to Emma Raducanu.

After her last early round defeat she went home to lick her wounds and re-evaluate what she's doing. I decided that she's going to retire within 24 months. That might be a bit cruel and incorrect but I sense that is the way things are drifting.

There are no rules against tennis players wearing a glove to protect their playing hand. It makes sense to me. Nadal doesn't wear a glove but he wears white tape on his fingers. Some golfers actually also put tape on their fingers to protect them.

Kangaroo skin gloves are very high quality. They allow the player to maintain feel through the glove. They help the hand to grip the club. It makes playing golf more comfortable and I would suggest more tennis player should also where a kangaroo skin glove.

It would certainly entirely protect her right hand against blisters. It would be another step towards minimising injuries for which Emma Raducanu has become famous. I don't think the pro tennis lifestyle suits her actually. 

And I mean both physically and emotionally. She's talented but looking at her now I don't see her being any better than a lot of middle ranking women tennis players.

She suggested she might drop down to a lower tier in order to get more competitive playing time. She's not done that. If she did, I would suggest that she would never get out of that tier. I think it would be a bad idea but it may be the only idea.

Emma Raducanu will not wear a glove as I have suggested because she probably thinks it looks like she's admitted to the world that she has delicate hands or something. It's almost a sign of weakness because nobody else wears them. 

But I would recommend it and she could even brand the glove and market it. Make it a big thing and show it off. Be bold about it. That would help silence any critics.
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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Wednesday 14 February 2024

Emma Raducanu laughs as a ginger tabby cat interrupts the commencement of her Abu Dhabi Open match

I am able to combine Emma Raducanu, who I have written about recently when I predicted that she'd retire from professional tennis within 2 years and a cat! It's hard to do that in a video but we have one here from the Daily Motion website. It is no big deal. 

The only query I have is how did a cat get onto the tennis court at a professional tournament at the commencement of play when there are players on court and spectators in the stands?


Does this indicate that there are lots of stray cats in Abu Dhabi or that the management of the tournament is a little slack? Or perhaps it was just bad luck. Maybe it was good luck as it made Raducanu laugh. 

I have seen her look sad too often after losing matches in the early round of recent tournaments. She has not progressed beyond round two so far this year; her first campaign after her three operations - two on her wrists and one on her foot. She has returned to the UK to practice. I think she's returned to also discuss her future as a pro tennis player. It is not working out. She is way off the mark to beat the top 10 players.

This is an embedded video which means that it may stop working as I have no control over its presence on this website.



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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Tuesday 13 February 2024

Prediction that Emma Raducanu will retire from professional tennis within 24 months

Emma Raducanu. See base of page for credit.

This is very obliquely about animals only insofar as that Emma Raducanu has a companion dog and she loves her dog. And I believe that it is entirely possible that she will be spending a lot more time with her dog in the not too distant future based upon what I have read today in the newspaper.

I hope anybody who reads this (very few 😎) will bear with me because it's not about cats! It's about something which has come into my head and like perhaps millions of others I've been following Emma Raducanu's progress both before and since her three operations.

She has a health protected world ranking of 103 and she's just got back to full-time professional tennis and it's not going well. She was full of expectation saying that she felt 'light' meaning she had lost the burden of being a major champion with the incumbent expectations.

"Move aside Emma Raducanu, Great Britain has a new tennis star in Katie Boutler" - News media headline today March 5th 2024 which must hurt Raducanu. It must further demotivate her I am afraid.

Commitment?


Her recent exploit was in the prestigious Qatar Open. Stuart Fraser, the tennis correspondent for The Times newspaper says that her preparation for the Qatar Open was poor. Rather than travelling to Qatar to acclimatise herself to the conditions and the courts, she stayed in Dubai and attended an event at a luxury hotel with Naomi Campbell, the supermodel. She is highly marketable and her portfolio of commercial endorsements are worth an estimated 12 million (annually, I believe).

"I think that it's hard for me to get used to the tour schedule" - Emma Raducanu.

But her commercial marketing it is claimed has interfered with her preparations for tennis tournaments which she claims is unfair criticism. But rather than practising in Doha she only managed to fit in a short Sunday afternoon hit after rain had caused disruption to her court schedules.

She lost 6-0, 7-6 in the first round of the Qatar Open. It was not an example of progress on her path back from being ranked number 262 in the world. Her target is to be within the top 10 as she once was after her spectacular US Open win.

Raducanu's signature is very dense and obliterated. I am not sure what it says if anything about her character. Image: Wikipedia.

But here's the problem. She had a bad match with 48 unforced errors to her opponent's 22. She claimed that she was struggling with everything including the conditions. She said that she couldn't see the ball properly and that's because she hadn't practised on outside courts under similar conditions to acclimatise herself to it. This to me shows a lack of commitment I regret to say.

In disarray


And she's decided to return home to practice rather than go on to play at next week's WTA 1000 tournament in Dubai under a wildcard exemption. Next month there is the Sunshine Swing of America tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami. She considered dropping down to the tier below to get more tennis practice and to start winning competitions or matches at least.

But her thinking seems to be in disarray. She's not sure what to do. This is indicated in what she said:
"I think I'm just going to go home and practice, and we'll see where I go from there. It's hard for me to get used to the tour schedule. It's just tournament back, tournament straight away, so I think that I need to schedule my tournaments a little better, as well as just trying to get some more matches under my belt."
Very flat statement. A very uncommitted statement. The words, I would argue, of a person who is somewhat lost about what to do and how to achieve her goals. And indicative of a person whose not happy playing pro tennis. I wonder if she has gone home to discuss her future in pro tennis as her attitude looks very flat and demotivated.

And in the past - last year - she has demonstrated that she struggles physically to play pro tennis week in week out. Her body tends to breakdown. I feel that her body is not robust enough.

Future looks bad


I personally am very negative about her future. I don't think she will get back into the top 10. I don't think she will make much progress at all because while she's been away the other women tennis players have improved such as Anna Kalinskaya ranked 38. She is a great player. Competition is more difficult. And I don't think she likes the lifestyle of a professional tennis player either.

I also believe that her win at the US Open was somewhat fortuitous because she was playing against a line of people who were not ranked that highly. That was pure luck. And at the time she was in great form; somewhat innocently just expressing her love of tennis without feeling the pressure so much.

After she won that prestigious tennis event she felt the pressure and I think it's taken away a lot of the gloss and fun of tennis for her.

I have a strong feeling that she does not have the desire to be a professional tennis player because she's complained before about the tennis professional's lifestyle. You don't hear this sort of complaint from any other woman professional tennis player that I can see. They just get on with it.

These days she looks like an average professional female tennis player. Not in anyway exceptional. Her ranking around 250 is correct. McEnroe has commented that she has a huge task to climb the ranks. He was implying that she won't make it.

Unhappy? Money


She looks unhappy too. It is hidden in forced smiles.

She's made a lot of money. I don't know how much but it must be upwards of £50 million perhaps more even. She does not need to play tennis or indeed work at all again in her lifetime.

She can go home, be with her dog, be with her family and enjoy life. She has won a major tennis tournament. She has achieved a lot. What more does she need to prove? I think that question enters her mind. 

Perhaps she wants to prove to herself that winning the U.S. Open wasn't a fluke. She doesn't want to be a one trick pony. She wants to be a genuine classy professional tennis player but I think she's learned that her heart is not in it and it makes her unhappy which why I think she will retire within 24 months. The pro tennis life is not for her and I believe this has dawned on her.

P.S. I think she'll retire even if she reads this and wants to disprove me. The pull to stop will be too strong.

Media


News media are making matters worse for Emma because there's so much news media chatter about her because of her exceptional US Open win being the only player male or female to win as a qualifier. The media can't leave her alone which means added pressure. She's trying to escape the inescapable conclusion that her US Open win was a bit fluky.

The Times


Matthew Syed, the respected Times journalist and former champion table tennis player, has, indirectly, supported what I am saying in this article. He says that her recent poor defeat must be a wake-up call. He calls it a "career-defining wake-up call". He says that there are now no excuses for losing as in the past she has had injuries resulting in losses and she has indirectly blamed coaching for her failures.

He adds that, "It will be obvious to her most ardent fans - and hopefully to Raducanu herself - that this has nothing to do with injury....If her goal is to be the best player she can be, she is emphatically not travelling that road". Those who focus on the commercial side of sport openly acknowledge that she is diminishing her brand. He adds that "that a sporting career is scarily short" and that "this is her time, her chance to push on to glimpse the preciousness of the few years ahead."

He urges her to seize the moment and I sense that he is urging her to commit to being the best she can be. And this is what I'm saying. She appears to be lacking commitment at the moment because I don't think her heart is truly in the professional tennis player's lifestyle.

Sponsors


I also predict that she'll lose most of her lucrative sponsor deals over the coming 12 months. She'll become an average journeyman pro going nowhere. The celeb life will be over soon.

Katie Boulter


Katie Boulter has just won the San Diego Open which is her second ATP win and puts her in the top 30. She has taken on the role of the best British player and this must be demoralising for Raducanu whose all but forgotten languishing in the mid-200s or whatever. She is finished. Sorry but that is the reality.

Photo credit: By si.robi - Raducanu WMQ18 (16), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=71047731

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Friday 19 January 2024

Anxiety plagues Emma Raducanu rather than physical health problems

I believe that Emma Raducanu's retirement from tournaments because of all too frequent mystery physical illnesses are sometimes perhaps often caused by anxiety.

I've lost count of the number of times that Emma Raducanu has retired from a tennis match. Before she had her three operations - each wrist and a foot - and after her spectacular US Open win, she dropped out of about four tournaments because of so-called physical illnesses. I remember her dropping out of Wimbledon (before she won the US Open) because she was breathless.

Compared to other professional tennis players, female and male, she has more health ailments than almost any of them if not all of them. It is quite noticeable. The underlying cause needs to be addressed.

Update 6th Feb 2024: Raducanu has said that she is not too concerned about her tournament results this year. This seems to me to be an attempt to take the heat off herself. This in turn supports my thought that she is an anxious player and it often affects the match outcome.

Anxiety plagues Emma Raducanu rather than physical health problems
Emma Raducanu feeling sick during her second round match at the Australian Open. Image: Sky News.

And she has had various muscular ailments forcing retirement. The world knows about them because they have been incredibly well covered by the news media.

Her most recent health problem has also been well-publicised. She was playing in the Australian Open as all tennis fans know. She was playing a second round match against a woman who was ranked 94. 

Emma Raducanu probably felt before the match that she should beat her. Okay, Emma is ranked below this lady because of a long absence but her potential is much higher than her current ranking and therefore her expectations would have been to progress well beyond the second round of this tournament. The public would expect and hope the same. This points to expectation pressures.

She was beaten because she said that she felt sick in the third set. As I recall, it was in the second game of the third set when she was 30-0 up when she said that she felt like vomiting. She felt sick and vomit was coming up into her mouth she said.

After that she called a doctor and there was a pause in play and she carried on. She was treated at the courtside within the rules of tennis.

Anxiety causing physical symptoms


Quick research indicates to me that anxiety can cause:
  • nausea as experienced by Emma Raducanu in the Australian open recently
  • breathlessness as experienced by her at Wimbledon
  • muscular tension. Raducanu has experienced muscle problems in her abdomen for example.
These are good examples of how anxiety can cause physical symptoms as I state.

Are these always physical ailments?


But bearing in mind all these physical ailments, I personally cannot believe that they are actually physical ailments. I believe that perhaps some of them are but some of them are due to anxiety. Professional tennis at this level is incredibly competitive.

There are enormous expectations on Emma Raducanu because she is the only qualifier, male or female, to win a Grand Slam tournament. Perhaps she had hoped that the long break for her recovery from her operations would release her from those expectations. But they haven't.

The demands of these expectations are, I believe, making her anxious to the point where she feels sick. And they are also having other effects on her mental health to the point, where I believe she finds an excuse to retire from a match that she believes she might lose. 

She is not doing this consciously. It's a subconscious process converting anxiety, a mental health problem, into a physical problem.

Nobody has discussed this at all perhaps out of politeness. And I want to be very respectful of this woman. If I am correct it's entirely understandable. Recently, another tennis player, Caroline Garcia, discussed her acute anxiety with the news media. I am sure that it's a problem or at least a potential issue with all tennis players both male and female.

It just depends how you cope with it and that's why the top players have sports psychologists. I know that the top Italian player, Jannik Sinner, has a sports psychologist who has done some really good work with him and his game has improved to the point where he is expected to win a Grand Slam.

So, in conclusion, I believe that Emma Raducanu's retirement from tournaments because of mystery illnesses, occurring far too often, are underpinned or are caused by anxiety.

Note: I am neither a doctor nor a psychiatrist. I am just applying common sense and expressing an opinion

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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