Athletes that perform well have a solid understanding of physical expectations. Those who can elevate their game also know how to mentally prepare for competition. Finding that balance is what Johnny Parkes, IMG Academy’s Assistant Head of Strength and Conditioning for the tennis program, hopes to achieve with his student-athletes.
In a recent episode of the Leaders Performance Podcast presented by Keiser, Coach Parkes spoke with host John Portch and discussed how to give athletes a clear perception of training expectations and how it can transfer to performance.
“It really comes down to engagement,” Coach Parkes explains, “Are they fully focused on the task at hand? If they are, that will lead to performance gains if they’re all in, physically and mentally.” He wants his players to understand that, once they commit to both aspects of competition, they’ll be able to recognize the results.
Coach Parkes also accepts that each day is a unique experience. “I think the modern day coach has to tap into what the athlete is going through on a daily basis,” he says, “We need to be adaptable to where the athlete’s at.” These check-ins help Parkes tailor his training efforts to maximize player output.
Want to listen to the full interview? Check it out below.
As the season winds down, Coach Parkes also firmly believes in athletes taking adequate time to look back at what they’ve accomplished. “There has to be reflection and feedback,” he explains, “I think mentally they’re going to feel a bit drained. So it’s about taking the time off needed to feel like they’ve reset their mind and body.”
Listen to the podcast for a greater understanding of the mental work young athletes can do on their own to perform better on the court. To learn more about our tennis camps or any of our other tennis programs, check out the links below.
The Leaders Performance Podcast is sponsored by Keiser® and the Leaders Performance Institute.