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BoldAxis
08-16-2007, 05:56 PM
Hey guys, it seemed that I had a really bad day today in practice for tennis. I was getting so frustrated that my shots weren't going in and weren't perfect. Maybe it's because of all the stress I'm having cause of tryouts next week. Have you guys ever experienced off days? I'm pretty sure everyone has. What did you do to calm yourself down? Any mental exercises you can do at home to get you ready?

dave333
08-16-2007, 06:08 PM
Yes. Its those days when you say things like "I hate tennis" and "I suck" etc. Just gotta tough it out on those days and try to be positive. The next day, don't worry about it and don't think about it at all.

lethalfang
08-16-2007, 06:23 PM
Off days are like headaches. They go away the next day.

BoldAxis
08-16-2007, 06:25 PM
Do you guys know any mental practices you can do at home? Like staring at a candle or something.

tbini87
08-16-2007, 06:28 PM
i don't know that staring at a candle will do a world of good, but you can try it and let us know how it went... haha. as for bad days, just stay positive and accept that you are going to be crushing winners all over, so try to hit down the middle and be consistent. it is also frustrating when your opponent can't miss, but you can't control them. focus on your shots and staying within yourself.

Bodacious DVT
08-16-2007, 07:34 PM
i had one today. i was dominating at the beginning of the week (tryouts) and today its like i cant make a shot. i was crushing my bh returns and now it seems like i cant get them over the net, much less hit a forehand.

but thats just one day and i know what i can really do. i'll get over it, after all, tomorrow's a brand new opportunity.

fuzz nation
08-16-2007, 08:01 PM
Are you serious... your shots weren't going in and they weren't perfect? Don't tell me that this is the first time that's ever happened to you, amigo. If it is, well get ready for it to happen at least once or twice in the not-so-distant future.

You can do yourself some good by reading some sports psychology and getting your expectations to a more reasonable level - those days happen. Something as simple as an incomplete night's sleep or a little dehydration can throw a wrench in your tranny. They're the most troubling gremlins that we tennis nerds have to deal with, but if you can get comfortable with the notion that you're going to miss or be off in the future, you'll be better equipped to deal with it when your skills seem to evaporate on you.

A lot of this game is on the fly problem solving, but the problems don't always come from your opponents. Figure out how to stay positive, even when it's not clicking, and you'll be able to minimize your off days.

wihamilton
08-16-2007, 09:07 PM
when i am not playing well i slow things down / take pace off the ball and just work on consistency and placement. if you can't hit great shots that particular day then just go back to basics and pick your spots to be aggressive.

LuckyR
08-17-2007, 09:20 AM
Do you guys know any mental practices you can do at home? Like staring at a candle or something.

You are correct to try to snuff out this tendancy. Fed was a pretty good player until he turned his personality into the focussed one it is today.

If you understand that displaying anger etc is a huge motivator for your opponent and against most high level opponents it is like throwing blood in the water to sharks. Contrast Borg with Safin (both in personality and results- it ain't about the strokes).

You know your personality and preferences much better than we do. If you are motivated, you will come up with a technique for becoming a cold blooded executioner on the court.

Serve em Up
08-17-2007, 09:36 AM
Turn on a lava lamp in a dark room and listen to Pink Floyd music for three hours and you'll be all better!

Wits-Z
08-17-2007, 09:56 AM
I think those "off" days are primarily mental.. You miss a shot, get frustrated, miss another shot, think you're having a bad day -- then it snowballs. For me, it's all about taking a step back, taking a deep breath and starting over. I like the advice about going back to the basics, not trying to get too fancy, and get your confidence back.

Doesn't always work for me, and sometimes I get into my own "kitchen" too much and can't get my focus back in check..

More often than not, a few solid, low risk shots, and I'm back on the saddle. Doesn't mean that I can climb out of the hole I put myself in, but at least it gets me excited about the next time out again, and I'm not going home kicking myself.

ChocolatePie
08-17-2007, 10:30 AM
If I am having an off day and still in the middle of the match, I will slow my strokes down and concentrate on aiming where I want. If I feel better then I'll start hitting harder. If that doesn't work then...resort to pushing.

Slazenger
08-17-2007, 02:42 PM
Depends on kind of off day I'm having.

I have days when I just have no feel and my timing is off. If I'm playing people who hit the ball with moderate topspin, I will hit my way back into form. The ball is always in my strike zone and just focus on hitting cleanly.
If I'm playing someone hitting heavy topspin, I start spinning the balls in and taking pace off.

If my off day is that I'm missing lines, I just give myself more margin. Still hit through the ball aggressively but I aim about 1 more foot in the lines. I prepare myself for longer rallies.