Vida Tennis

How the Pros use their “Third Space” in matches

Recently I attended a presentation by Dr Adam Fraser on what he calls “The Third Space” and want to share some of his findings and studies, in particular his words relating to tennis.

“The third space amazingly separates elite athletes from the rest of the pack. There is very little difference between top tennis players in terms of speed, accuracy and power during the point, where the elite players differ, is what they do in between the points. In the third space the best players reflect on the previous point and put it behind them. They relax deeply to calm their mind and conserve energy, finally they focus their mind and emotions to be at their best for the next point as they transition into it. Its not what the elite players do during the point that makes them the best, its what they do in between the points.”

The third space for tennis players is the time between points where a player must reflect of the previous points, calm themselcves and get ready of the next point with optimisim. “What metal state, or how do you show up” for the next point.

After interviewing hundreds of people Dr. Fraser noticed a common thread. Those who were able to flourish in life and transition best did so because they mastered the ‘Third Space’.

“The ‘First Space’ is what you’re doing now. The ‘Second Space’ is what you’re about to do and the ‘Third Space’ is the gap in the middle,” explains Dr. Fraser.

To test the theory, Dr. Fraser conducted a study with Deakin University in Victoria. He asked 600 people to practice three steps when moving work to home.

1. Reflect: Use this stage to reflect on what just happened, ask yourself what went well, what you could do better and what you took away from it.

2. Rest: Use this stage to calm your mind and recompose so you don’t move onto the next task with racing thoughts. Depending on time, take a few deep breaths, calm yourself.

3. Reset: Align your mindset with what is about to happen. Ask yourself what your intention is. What needs to happen in the next point? Game plan etc

The research showed a remarkable 41 per cent improvement in people’s behaviour at home when they followed the three steps.

“The beauty of the ‘Third Space’ is that you don’t have to put time aside or do anything complicated. It’s just a mental change.”

I would highly recommend Dr Adam Fraser’s book “The Third Space” to anyone, not just the tennis community, to learn ways on how to be successful and happy in all areas of your life.

Kane Dewhurst | Vida Tennis

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