View Full Version : HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH YOUR "OFF" DAYS ...

09-18-2004, 02:52 PM
Let's say things are going less than perfect and it's time to pull back and re-evaluate ... What's the process you use?

09-18-2004, 03:02 PM
I just think to myself that I'm having an off day. We all have them. It's just a part of life. I know that I will have an off day now and then, but so will my opponents. Actually off days can be more helpful than days that you are playing well. They make you step back and think things over. Maybe you'll try something new on your off day, something you wouldn't do if you were playing well. Plus they give you the incentive to improve your game, so that the next time you have an off day you'll still be tough to beat.

One time I had a perfect match. It was a pro set and I won 8-0. I had maybe 3 total errors, tons of winners and my serving was great. I won in about 30 minutes. This was in a tournament. Each round after that I tried to duplicate that success and I couldn't. I played worse and worse until I got to the final and lost because I was trying too hard. Had I played ok in that first round and still pulled it out who knows what would've happened. I bet though I wouldn't have been trying so hard for the perfect game.

What do you do for your off days?

09-18-2004, 03:33 PM
I keep it simple (If I get caught up in the score, I go crazy.)

I try to start with two big time basics. First, ball focus (how am I seeing the ball/ keeping the head "quiet" through contact). This has historically been a problem area for me b/c, with tension comes the need to pull up and "see" the result of my shots, especially on the return. Also, my footwork relies on how well I focus on the ball.

Second, I evaluate my mental state (some days, I can tell you, I am just not all there). So I ask myself to do two things: first, I try my best to remember the breakdown of every point and how they were won/lost. I'll even analyze the rally out loud b/w points (hopefully, objectively). Patterns inevitably develop. From there, I'll call upon a shot or strategy to counter whatever's hurting me.

The key to this ritual is that it gets me out of that "I suck" mode and puts me into the role of "coach." For me, it takes a ton of mental energy to recite and analyze my play. The result of this is that I become so much more focused on the play by play and analysis that it (usually) doesn't let me embrace that negative mindset.