I see unathletic players beat very athletic players all the time. I see this from the junior level all the way to the Pro level. How is this possible? Of course, its possible because of the mind. Simply put, on those days, the less athletic players were in better control of their minds. They were able to make their mind more STILL. They were able to make their mind more POSITIVE. They were able to keep their minds more FOCUSED on the PROCESS of winning.
The first thing to understand about the mind is that the unwatched mind tends to be very negative and gravitates to the past and future. We do want this. Negativity creates more negativity and the past and future are irrelevant to what you need to do NOW to win. Thankfully, this tendency can be stopped by (1) disassociating from the negative thoughts that the mind is producing (being the watcher) and (2) replacing the negative thoughts and feeling with positive thoughts and feelings.
Here is an example. You are serving, have game point, and miss an easy overhead. Negative thoughts creep in. “My overhead is so bad.” “He is such a pusher” “Its so hot out. I do not really want to play.” If you do not disassociate/watch these negative thoughts, then these thoughts will take you over and become you. You will be identified with them and act them out. Your overhead will continue to be bad, you will dislike your opponent, and you will not feel like playing. A recipe for disaster.
It is your job to become the alchemist. Watch these negative thoughts. Know that they are there. Do not judge them. Just watch them as an interested third person observer. Watching your thoughts breaks the identification so that they can no longer act through you and control you.
Then, change them. Feel as much love for yourself as possible. Say and feel some positive affirmations. Give the biggest smile you can possibly give. Then focus on the present moment. Feel each step you walk. Go to your towel. Feel the softness of the towel as it wipes away your sweat. Formulate a strategy for your next serve and chase every single ball down with an open heart.
Be patient with yourself. This will unlikely happen overnight. It is a skill that takes time. However, the more you withdraw consciousness (attention) from future/past negativity and replace it with present moment positivity you become one step closer to controlling your mind and thus controlling your destiny.