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article imageOp-Ed: Dr. Jay P. Granat on the Psychology in Tennis Special

By Ernest Dempsey     Dec 19, 2009 in Sports
Expert sport psychotherapist Dr. Jay P. Granat, author of "Zone Tennis", talks about important psychological points in sports, especially tennis.
Dr. Jay P. Granat is a psychotherapist who has been treating patients for over decades. Many of his patients are sportsmen/women and his recent book Zone Tennis (World Audience Publishers, 2009) is directed at tennis players who want to overcome the inner/psychological as well as external obstacles in the way of their success. Dr. Granat’s book has many interesting tips of practical help for tennis players at all levels, particularly for beginners. Following is my brief e-interview with Dr. Granat.
Ernest: Dr. Granat, what are the sports in which you have been offering therapeutic and counseling services to players? What are your other publications on this subject besides Zone Tennis?
JG: I have counseled athletes from tennis, golf, gymnastics, wrestling, boxing, diving, baseball, soccer, billiards, bowling, hockey, swimming, skiing, track and field, softball, basketball, competitive shooting, surfing, and even rodeo cowboys. My other publications include numerous articles, another book, and a number of programs, listed online at Interested readers can get most of the titles from this page.
Ernest: What are the main psychological issues with tennis players?
JG: The main psychological issues in tennis include confidence, focus, and staying relaxed and optimistic. Other issues include managing one’s feelings, losing to players you should beat, and the development of the right strategies. Many players who reach out to me are in conflict with coaches and or parents. I help them to work these matters out.
Ernest: Of your personal experience with helping players, what sport or sports do you find more stressful and why?
JG: Golf is quite mental as is bowling which is very mental. The stress has to do with the level the person is competing at. Professionals who earn their living through sport can have a great deal of pressure because if they do not win, they do not earn any money, in some instances.
Ernest: Do you find sometimes that one or more psychological problems in a particular sport, say tennis, are peculiar to players of one sex, women for example?
JG: Gymnastics creates a lot of problems for young woman. I wrote an article about this, which readers may read at
Ernest: Is sport itself a therapy for some psychological problems? How do sports benefit the mind and body?
JG: Sports can be quite therapeutic. Physical activity is helpful in managing stress, anxiety, and depression. Many addicts also get involved in sport as way of switching a negative addiction to a positive behavior.
Ernest: Have you also helped children with psychological issues by using sports as a therapy for them?
JG: I have helped children and developed a program for them. Here is the program’s online link:
Ernest: How do you comment on sports that involve animals, like horse racing?
JG: I have treated some jockeys and people who compete in equestrian events. The relationship between the animal and humans is fascinating and crucial. I believe this is an idea for a separate article.
Ernest: What sport are you fond of personally?
JG: I am fond of tennis, golf, boxing, baseball, and football.
Ernest: Do you have a website, with your contact information, for people to learn about psychology in sports?
JG: My website is People can contact me at, or at 888 580-ZONE.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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