How to set intentions to reach your tennis goals

03 Jun 2020
#GOALS

Want to make sure you'll reach your tennis goals by setting intentions, but don't know how? No worries, I can help ✋🏻!

You've read it in the blog on the power of intentions: it wasn't until during the quarantine that I noticed the need to combine intentions with the usual long-term and short-term goals. So I get it if you're confused and have no clue where to start, I was there just a few weeks ago!

I'm Elena Margaria 👋🏻 and just like you, I'm on a mission to become the best tennis player I can 🥇. Even without a fancy team, or too much talent. Just with a huge desire to make it. That's why Tennis Rematch exists: to share everything I learn along the way 🤓, so you can get better faster, and together we can prove that we can achieve anything we set our mind to 🔥.

Are you ready? Here's the plan for this blog: first I'm gonna tell you 🔹 the exact steps I went through to set my intentions, so you don't need to reinvent the wheel yourself. And then I'm gonna share with you 🔹 which intentions I chose for myself and why, so you can get your creative juices flowing and start thinking about your own.

As always, here's the Table of Contents 👇🏻. Enjoy!

How to set intentions

First of all, just a little reminder in case you don't know yet the difference between goals and intentions 👇🏻.

🎯 A goal is what you want to do, what you aim at. It's the end result that you want to achieve.

👤 An intention is who you want to be or, actually, who you need to become to reach your goal.

FYI, I wrote a whole blog about it and the reasons why goals without intentions are not gonna work out so well, if at all. You should take a look 👀!

But let's get back to intentions.

What do you need to set your intentions?

Nothing much: just some clarity on your long-term goals 🎯 and a bit of self-awareness 🧐, and you should be ready to go!

Now... how do you know which intentions are gonna help you achieve your goals? And how do you make sure they actually do?

Here are the 3 steps I personally go through:

STEP #1: ACCEPTANCE 🙏🏻 → The first step to set your intentions is to accept the fact that you need to change the way you are right now if you want to reach your long-term goals one day. After all, if you already had everything you need to reach the goals you want to reach, you would have reached them already, no? So the sooner you acknowledge you need to become a different person, the better!

STEP #2: IMAGINATION 💭 → Then, once you do accept this truth, you can use your imagination and visualize yourself as the "better" person who can actually cross your goals off your list. Pay special attention to her habits habits and daily routines, those are what make all the difference!

STEP #3: REPRESENTATION 🎨 → Finally, once you have identified the traits and habits of this "new you", you just have to write them down or, even better, find pictures that immediately remind you of them. Hang them in a very visible place so you see them all the time, and you'll become that person sooner than you think.

You see? It's not that complicated. And yet, it makes all the difference in the world to have intentions guiding your actions and decisions! Remember: especially when things get tough, intentions will keep you away from impulsive reactions and unwanted habits! And that's HUUUGE 💣!

But I know what you're waiting for now, after all this theory... my own intentions! So go ahead and have a read, I hope they inspire you to find your own!

My own intentions

As promised, here are the intentions I chose for myself and why.

🌟 Never give up. Neither on my dreams, nor in a tennis match. I'm a firm believer that relentless work is what separates champions from the rest of us (in any discipline and field), so committing to never ever giving up is the least I can do to give myself a chance to one day be one.

🌟 Get flexible. I'm not a kid anymore, so I need to be extra careful about my body or it will break ☠️. After all, we all know how crucial it is to stay injury-free! How many careers have been compromised by injuries?! Way too many! And I don't want to contribute to that number too! So yes, working on my flexibility is definitely one of my top intentions, as more flexibility means more chance of staying away from injuries.

🌟 Eat healthy. To get where I want to be, I need to train like there's no tomorrow, for a very long time. Which means I need to fuel my body properly, if I want to have enough energy to endure the effort required and make the most of my practice sessions. Little confession here: this is probably the intention that will cause me more trouble, but I'll do my best to stick to it. I promise!

🌟 Rest. Just as much as healthy food, enough rest is another key requirement to be able to sustain a certain rhythm of practices and workouts in the long run. In general, I'm all for quality over quantity but I do understand that to get anywhere near my end goals, I need both. And without rest, that's unthinkable.

🌟 Meditate. That tennis is not only physical, but mental too is no secret. They say most of the time you win or lose even before stepping on the court, and I honestly think it's quite accurate. So yes, meditating is certainly something I need to do more since I need to get better at controlling my emotions and mind, both on and off the court.

🌟 Get strong. This might sound obvious, but the truth is I've never really trained too much my strength as I've always relied on my strengths (sorry for the turn of phrase), like footwork and tactics. But let's be honest, to compete at the highest level you need to be an all-around athlete and you cannot lack too much of anything!

🌟 Be brave. And by this I mean don't be afraid to do what it takes, both in terms of choices and actions. It's funny, because I'm someone who's never afraid of taking risks and going against the general beliefs: I'm quite a rebel in that sense. But I know for a fact that I sometimes feel intimidated or not up to it, so there's certainly room to improve! I cannot afford missing opportunities just because I don't feel ready!

🌟 Be resourceful. Making plans and trying my best to stick to them is obviously not an option, but being resourceful and finding smart solutions to overcome the challenges that will come up no matter what is just as important. Sometimes we think we need the best resources available to be the best, while in reality all we really need is to make the most of what we already have.

🌟 Believe. Aww, this is a tough one for me! Deep down I know I can do anything I set my mind to if only I work hard as hell, but you know... being self-confident is still a different thing! And unless I'm ok with not achieving my long-term goals, I really need to get to a place where I have no doubt I have the capability to play at the level I want to play. Because if I'm not believing it myself, it won't happen. That's for sure!

🌟 Be grateful. Playing tennis as much as I do is a privilege and I should never forget it or take it for granted. Yes, it's a big commitment and requires hard work and sacrifices, I know. But at the same time I'm also aware of the fact not everyone has the chance to choose. And as I do have this chance, I shouldn't waste it.

🌟 Enjoy and celebrate. I'm totally in love with tennis, and the more I win the more I love the game. But I need to get better at loving it even when things don't quite work out as planned, and learn to enjoy the process however tough it is, and celebrate every single baby step I take, however small it is.

🌟 Aim high. Or in other words, be ambitious. If others can do it, why cannot I? As long as I work harder and smarter than others, there's no reason to think I cannot get the results I want. It's only a matter of time and self-belief.

And there you have it, the complete list of my intentions! Wanna see what pictures I chose to represent them? Take a look 👇🏻 and let me know in the comments which picture represent each intention! Let's see how many you can guess right!

All my intentions in one vision board

Intentions recap

Together, goals and intentions are a powerful mix 💥, and the reason is simple: they complement each other ☯️. Goals get you started, intentions keep you going. Goals work perfectly when it all goes smoothly, intentions help you overcome the unexpected challenges. And so on.

So here's my advice: if you really care about your tennis goals and want to make sure you're gonna achieve them sooner or later, set your intentions and live by them every single day! They'll ensure you don't get lost along the way and miss the target 🎯!

And it's not even too difficult to set your intentions once you've set your goals, so you really don't have any excuse 😜. In the end, it all comes down to:

① accepting that you need to change yourself

② imagining the person you need to become

③ and representing the "new you" in some form so you can see it all the time and finally become it

So... go set your intentions and start living by them. You'll reach your tennis goals sooner than you expect!

But first, don't forget to leave me a clap (or two), if you found this blog useful! It doesn't cost you anything, but would encourage me to keep creating content 💕.

Would you play tennis all day and night just to get better?

Then you're one of us! We're a community of passionate and motivated tennis players who work hard every day 💦 to reach their goals, motivate each other 🔥 to keep going when things get tough and share their own experiences 💬 so everybody can get better faster.

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