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View Full Version : experience from my First real match, first tournament


tennis_hand
04-04-2007, 07:25 AM
I just had my first match in my first ever tournament. ( Well don't look at my post count, which is mostly earnt in bashing and talking in General Player and Match Result forum. ;) )

I lost 2:6, 0:6.

This is the novice group from 2.0 to 3.0. Since it is my first tournament, I just put myself at lowest 2.0. and I played this guy who rated himself 2.5.

My thoughts:
I didn't play during the last 2 days. so we tried to rally and warm up. I was surprised. He was not rallying. He was spraying the balls everywhere, constantly with some drop shots. I did play practice match before, but this is the first time I play this kind of rally warm up. So this warmup is not really any warmup. I shanked a lot of balls, but this happens whenever I started to play anyone for the first 5 min. So I admitted this was a sh|t warmup.

Then after about 10 min, we started. He is a left-handed player. At first I was thrown off my his serve, both by the spin and by the pace. For the spin, just as most people say, it is the opposite. At the beginning, I hit some balls in the middle of my frame and the lower of my string bed. About the pace, it is really slow. The first few serves of his were like dropshot. I can say his serves mostly are spins, not pace. I didn't warm up well and I couldn't run to the ball. so darned I lost a few points.

Then as time goes on, my serve deteriorated. I always have this problem. At the beginning of a match, I tend to serve well, but it usually goes from good to bad. So, I hold my serve once and I broke him once. Then from then on, I double faulted most of my own serve.

On the second set, my serve followed the same pattern. but I couldn't hold them. Once we deuced 3 times, and when he was on advantage, I double faulted again. darn. that's it.

Overall in the match, I feel I had more winners than his. But I also committed much more UEs: aggressive return goes out, forgot how to hit even some easy shots, not watching his spinning etc. I don't think he is a typical pusher, but he did throw off several moon balls. We had a good rally, which probably had more than 10 shots exchange. and I won it. He can't rally well. In fact, I won most of the longer rallies. but when he threw off several moon balls that landed near baseline, I couldn't return it as the new balls bounce up really fast.

so this is my experience. I have to admit I am mentally weak in real games. Most of the time I commit most of the errors myself. I couldn't believe the scoreline, but I accept it. :-| :( Any comments are welcome.

Ripper
04-04-2007, 11:49 AM
Any comments are welcome.

Remember, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. So, don't feel bad. While it's fresh, think about everything that went on during that match. What would you have done differently, etc. In other words, learn from the experience.

p0w3r
04-04-2007, 12:25 PM
Remember, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. So, don't feel bad. While it's fresh, think about everything that went on during that match. What would you have done differently, etc. In other words, learn from the experience.

yup, and since you wer double faulting a lot...why not just get the serve in by tapping it? I know its not the best way to learn, but its a match and you gotta do what it takes to win. You can always pratice your serve sometime else.

Think of it like this...if you are most likely going double fault on your 2nd serve, you will loose the point, why not just tap it in with no pace and see what happens? Since its only >3.0 match, most of the time the other player wont be so agressive on serves with no pace.

AndrewD
04-04-2007, 01:04 PM
1. Congratulations on having the guts to go out and compete. A lot of players aren't that brave.

2. Get some lessons. Obviously, it's important to have your technique as sound as possible but a few lessons - group or private- can also help to increase your confidence. If you start a match knowing that your strokes are fundamentally sound then you know, logically, that will never change during the course of the match. So, if you make a few errors it's easier to work out what is going wrong. With a sound technique you can also change the way you're playing. A lot of guys who push or bash do so because they can't fall back on technique.

3. Make sure you're fit enough to play. That doesn't require you to go on some exercise kick but, if you're going to be playing long matches, make sure you're in good enough shape to finish them strongly. When you start to get tired, that's when you'll start making a lot of errors and a lot of dumb decisions.

4. Work to keep your errors down. Right up to the 5.0 level (and it happens many times from there to the pros), most matches between players of comparable skill are lost not won. That is especially true at the lower levels of the game where a rally usually doesn't extend beyond 3 shots (it can but there's usually no pace on the ball). So, if you can reduce your errors you'll win a lot more matches. You can do that by pushing (a tactic that wins is not a bad tactic) or, if you want to be aggressive (a tactic that will help as you develop), by using spin. That is where lessons will be helpful - they give you the technique to confidently use spin.

4. Please, please, please, please, whatever you do, DO NOT get caught up with all of the psycho-babble regarding 'being mentally tough' or the 'mental side of tennis'. Too many players devote too much time to a process that, at the club level, results in little more than gamesmanship and is, in most cases, just a mask for poor technique. The only mental exercise you need to do is - 'focus on the ball'.

tennis_hand
04-04-2007, 06:24 PM
Thanks, guys. After looking at the match table, I am not at the bottom of the group with this scoreline so far. So, it gives me some confidence.

The things I find where I went wrong, in most of matches, practice or tournament, is that I tend to get nervous at the match goes on, esp on the serve. E.g. in this match, on my good serves, he couldn't return them to the court. But my bad serves just gave him points. Usually it is the other way around for most people, isn't it. I think it is because I think of the good serves , and try to emulate them again. And this made my body stiff and killed the mechanics.

I never took any coaching lessons, so probably AndrewD is right. Lessons gave confidence.

The Watchman
04-04-2007, 10:44 PM
2. Get some lessons. Obviously, it's important to have your technique as sound as possible but a few lessons - group or private- can also help to increase your confidence. If you start a match knowing that your strokes are fundamentally sound then you know, logically, that will never change during the course of the match. So, if you make a few errors it's easier to work out what is going wrong. With a sound technique you can also change the way you're playing. A lot of guys who push or bash do so because they can't fall back on technique.

AndrewD,

I'm thinking of getting some lessons as you suggest via a tennis camp to help me cease my pushing ways. Do you know of anywhere that a 35 year old adult club hack can go to a tennis camp for a week? I was thinking specifically of one located at Hope Island Resort. Do you know of or recommend any others?

zapvor
04-12-2007, 04:20 PM
Thanks, guys. After looking at the match table, I am not at the bottom of the group with this scoreline so far. So, it gives me some confidence.

The things I find where I went wrong, in most of matches, practice or tournament, is that I tend to get nervous at the match goes on, esp on the serve. E.g. in this match, on my good serves, he couldn't return them to the court. But my bad serves just gave him points. Usually it is the other way around for most people, isn't it. I think it is because I think of the good serves , and try to emulate them again. And this made my body stiff and killed the mechanics.

I never took any coaching lessons, so probably AndrewD is right. Lessons gave confidence.

yea i suggest you getting some lessons. it sounds like you dont even have the basic technique to be playing matches. but very brave! and thanks for sharing.

Raiden.Kaminari
04-13-2007, 12:08 AM
4. Please, please, please, please, whatever you do, DO NOT get caught up with all of the psycho-babble regarding 'being mentally tough' or the 'mental side of tennis'. Too many players devote too much time to a process that, at the club level, results in little more than gamesmanship and is, in most cases, just a mask for poor technique. The only mental exercise you need to do is - 'focus on the ball'.

Good advise. I usually say focus on the contact point. But plain focus is even better ;)

The mental toughness is actually required. But it comes down to how you approach the game. If you're focus is on doing your best, every time, rather than on winning (or the score), you should do well. And if you believe you're doing your best, you should be trying to run down every ball. Unfortunately, if you don't believe in yourself, then usually you won't even try to run down every ball.

The other side of the mental toughness is how you handle the cheaters. Again, if you're focus is on doing your best, it shouldn't matter what your opponent is doing (ie. their cheating you won't affect you).

vllockhart
04-13-2007, 12:16 PM
You just have to keep playing matches. I just joined a new team after getting disgusted with the USTA leagues the first time around 2 years ago. I looked at my profile on Tennislink and lo and behold, there are my horrendous scores. My first match was doubles, when I entered the team as a singles player. We got double bagled. My two singles matches were something like 0-6, 2-6 and 2-6, 1-6. Pretty ugly. I think I'll do a lot better this time around, but the only cure for this is practice, practice, practice, play, play, play.

vllockhart
04-13-2007, 12:20 PM
The reason that the USTA has leagues at all levels is so that people of all skills can get experience in live matches. So it's not nice or even correct to tell him that he doesn't have the basic technique to be playing matches. I'm sure he just go buy a racquet and join a league the same day. Come on. You weren't born at the level you're at now.

yea i suggest you getting some lessons. it sounds like you dont even have the basic technique to be playing matches. but very brave! and thanks for sharing.

a guy
04-13-2007, 12:30 PM
My advice is to get some coaching. It's amazing the difference a few hours of coaching can make. Once you've been tought the technique and you keep practicing it you'll be beating these players handily.

zapvor
04-16-2007, 02:22 PM
The reason that the USTA has leagues at all levels is so that people of all skills can get experience in live matches. So it's not nice or even correct to tell him that he doesn't have the basic technique to be playing matches. I'm sure he just go buy a racquet and join a league the same day. Come on. You weren't born at the level you're at now.

you know what. you are right. i apologize. everyone should be able to play and enjoy the sport. my main point was just that he ought to get lessons so he can better enjoy his matches/be moreo productive on court. thank you for pointing my post out.