Directive affirmations were developed by Lanny Bassham. They are a very effective tool for changing behavior. A directive affirmation has a time limit – the hopeful deadline for changing the behavior, a goal – whatever it is you want to change, the payoff, and your plan to reach the goal. Write or print out five copies of the affirmation and put them all over your house. Work with each affirmation for 21 days and then wait at least 9 days before starting a new affirmation or continuing to work with the current one. Below are affirmations I have used.

Ignore the score
Apart from saying the score after each point is completed, it’s better to ignore the score. Worrying about being down 0-40 isn’t going to help. The best thing is to concentrate instead on the preparation for the next point.

11/3/03 Apart from noting the score, the only thing I think about is execution. As a result, I play fearlessly, willing to go for any shot at any time and I enjoy playing in a competitive situation because I’m not worried about anything. I run a mental program for each point and reinforce each winning point by saying “That’s like me!” I record my performance analysis and read and visualize my Directive Affirmation daily. Apart from noting the score, the only thing I think about is execution.

Automatic strokes

When I was learning to drive a car, I was very awkward because I had to think about everything. After a while, driving became automatic until I had an accident and then I had to start all over again. Tennis is similar. If I have practiced my strokes enough, I will be able to perform them automatically in competition.

12/27/03 My preparation and strokes are automatic. As a result, I can concentrate on where I want the ball the go when I am playing the point and I will be able to win more points. As soon as the point is over, I say the score, free my neck, smile at the thought of winning the next point, think about where I want to put the ball and rehearse my next shot. When I win the shot I say, “That’s like me!” My preparation and strokes are automatic.

Nervousness

I was getting so nervous in league competition, “would I let my team down?”, “will I be able to win even one game?”, “will my serve land in the other court?”, that I couldn’t peform well. The purpose of this affirmation is to expect calmness when I play because I’m as prepared as I can be, there’s nothing more I can do about it.

June 7, 2004 Once the match starts I feel comfortable because I have prepared as well as I can. As a result, I am relaxed and perform better. I rehearse everything that happens on the day of the match, I practice 3 times a week, I record my performance analysis and read and visualize my Directive Affirmation daily. Once the match starts I feel comfortable because I have prepared as well as I can.

Nervousness/ignore the score

When league play started up again this year, I had a bit of a meltdown in my first match. The purpose of this affirmation is to expect to be calm, not worry about the score and to remember to return to the mental preparation for each shot if I start to falter.

8/29/04 Apart from noting the score, the only thing I think about is execution. As a result, there is no time to get nervous or worry about losing. If I start to worry, I need only to run a mental program for each point, think about where I want the ball to go when I hit it and reinforce each winning point by saying “That’s like me!” Apart from noting the score, the only thing I think about is execution.

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 153 user reviews.