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miniRafa386
02-07-2009, 06:51 PM
I'm a 16 year old junior top ranked in my section. For essentially my whole junior tournament career (since I was 8 ), I've had the problem of streakiness, sometimes I'm playing GREAT, while others I'm playing terribly. I've been trying to find it within myself to keep focused during matches and to think about my game to keep my tennis at a high level, and I've done a good job with that, but I can't seem to figure out how to not be so darn streaky. I've had some GREAT wins and some great matches in my life where I have played great, but I have had more matches that I have played very bad in. I dont get mad on the court, I always give 110% effort, and I always try my hardest to keep a positive attitude- even if I'm losing.

I have had tournaments where I would kill a great player, and the next round I would lose badly to a kid who I have killed weeks before. I have also had matches where I would destroy my opponent in the first set, then lose the next set badly, and then either kill him in the 3rd or I would keep my low level of play through the 3rd. I have once won a match 6-0, 0-6, 6-0 (looking back on that match, it was pretty funny, but thats not the point).

All in all, I need to figure out how to consistantly keep a medium to high level of play- for whole matches, for whole tournaments, for whole weeks, for whole months, etc.

Any ideas on how to fix this?

Thanks

oneguy21
02-07-2009, 07:05 PM
Stay focused and give your best on every point. You said you won a 3 set match with all sets being bagels. That tells me that you're probably not giving your 100% effort all the time although you may think you are.

All you got to remember is to give your best, stay focused, and never give up. Btw, what section are you in?

Geezer Guy
02-07-2009, 07:18 PM
If it wasn't for your first sentence, I'd say you have a problem you really need to work on. IF, however, you really are "a 16 year old junior top ranked in your section", then you must be doing something right, and doing it right a lot. You're not going to be at top level all the time. No one is. Even Nadal and Federer lose from time to time. You can't even say it's your fault. Sometimes you've got to give credit to your opponent for their success. I'd say, just relax and enjoy your time at or near the top. Don't put pressure on yourself to be perfect. Try your hardest, and whatever happens - happens.

miniRafa386
02-07-2009, 07:25 PM
Stay focused and give your best on every point. You said you won a 3 set match with all sets being bagels. That tells me that you're probably not giving your 100% effort all the time although you may think you are.

All you got to remember is to give your best, stay focused, and never give up. Btw, what section are you in?

i agree with the focusing part, and that has been a problem in the past, but as of late (the past 4 weeks), it hasnt.

And my effort is ALWAYS there. My father was a former top 300 atp pro back in the 80s. He was basically ahead of his time: die-hard baseliner with heavy topspin, and the never-say-die attitude. Effort was always #1 for him- always give your best. Way back when I was in the 12s, my first tournament, I tanked my second round match. The look on my fathers face when I came off the court was the most disheartening expression I had seen up to that point. He just shook his head and said 'Time to go home." That alone is enough to put someone (especially an 8 year old) in their place. I have never tanked a match since and never will.

I do agree that most of it is mental, but I cant figure out what it is that is blocking me. Thats why I made this thread :)

By the way, I'm in New England. I just aged out of the 16's, so my 18s ranking isnt that high.

miniRafa386
02-07-2009, 07:29 PM
If it wasn't for your first sentence, I'd say you have a problem you really need to work on. IF, however, you really are "a 16 year old junior top ranked in your section", then you must be doing something right, and doing it right a lot. You're not going to be at top level all the time. No one is. Even Nadal and Federer lose from time to time. You can't even say it's your fault. Sometimes you've got to give credit to your opponent for their success. I'd say, just relax and enjoy your time at or near the top. Don't put pressure on yourself to be perfect. Try your hardest, and whatever happens - happens.

i completly agree with not being able to be there all the time, but my level of play fluxuates so much and so abruptly. nadal and federer's play is for the most part high. but when they are not playing well, they have that ability to kick into overdrive and get themselves back into their high. i know that VERY few people have that ability, but everyone has a little bit of it, they just have more of it.

Geezer Guy
02-07-2009, 08:14 PM
Well, my point was that if your "level of play fluxuates so much and so abruptly" as you say, you wouldn't be top ranked in your section. If you're really that good, you're making a mountain out of a molehill.

miniRafa386
02-07-2009, 08:35 PM
Well, my point was that if your "level of play fluxuates so much and so abruptly" as you say, you wouldn't be top ranked in your section. If you're really that good, you're making a mountain out of a molehill.

im not in what many call a stronger section, so i can get away with some of my fluxuations. obviously, if i were in a stronger section, i would be ranked lower. but i guess my question is how do some players keep a high level of play for long amounts of time and how can I get myself to do that?

Bottle Rocket
02-07-2009, 09:00 PM
but i guess my question is how do some players keep a high level of play for long amounts of time and how can I get myself to do that?

Many people may respond and claim that this is an issue that is solved on the court. With that assumption, I am going to go in another direction.

I think being fit is a huge part of it. Fitness allows you to be in great shape for all your matches, even in adverse weather conditions, playing consecutive matches, as well as for building confidence. Confidence in your strength and endurance can do wonders for a streaky player.

I am not sure how much working out and conditioningr a 16 year old should be doing, but in general, I would look at those things to become a more consistent player.

Along with this I would also bring up preparation for the match, things like getting enough sleep, eating the right foods, and eating at the right time.

I would assume you have a coach or a few coaches that help you out... What do they say?

miniRafa386
02-07-2009, 09:11 PM
Many people may respond and claim that this is an issue that is solved on the court. With that assumption, I am going to go in another direction.

I think being fit is a huge part of it. Fitness allows you to be in great shape for all your matches, even in adverse weather conditions, playing consecutive matches, as well as for building confidence. Confidence in your strength and endurance can do wonders for a streaky player.

I am not sure how much working out and conditioningr a 16 year old should be doing, but in general, I would look at those things to become a more consistent player.

Along with this I would also bring up preparation for the match, things like getting enough sleep, eating the right foods, and eating at the right time.

I would assume you have a coach or a few coaches that help you out... What do they say?

as i said before, my father was once a pro, so he basically knows everything, and I mean EVERYTHING about prepping, eating, sleeping, etc. before a match. he never really had a problem like what I have, so he really doesnt know what to do about it, and neither does my coach at the clinic that i play at. so thats why im asking you guys :)

im lifting 2-3 times a week for at least 2 hours, depending if i have a tournament that weekend. i would say im in pretty good shape, i dont get sore the next day after matches that often, and i eat eggs, potatoes, wheaties, and bananas every morning before a match. as for sleep, as long as i get 7+ hours before a match, im fine. as for the confidence aspect, im not quite sure what you mean. do you mean that i should get the confidence to go the distance and still be able to put all my strength into playing? if that is, then im way ahead of you on that one. i dont get tired during matches, never. i would consider my stamina out on court one of the best in my section, maybe even the best.

i do agree with you though, fitness does make a huge difference on court. ive seen a countless number of players hit the wall and not be able to keep playing at a good level because of their fitness.

LeeD
02-08-2009, 09:17 AM
EVERYONE's play biorythums up and down, and Fed and Nadal's just as much as yours and mine!
It's just their great strokes mask their downs to you. Ask them how they played after a match! They'll say "really bad" sometimes after a 2,2,2 win. But you didn't notice, because you're not their level. Neither am I, of course.
OK, up days, continue on.
Down days, try to focus on strokes first, if you're missing. Play within your ability, not like your best days. Shorten up and prepare earlier on down days.
Watch the ball more on down days. Focus within yourself on down days. Prepare to run more and harder when your not playing well. Try some variety shots that you HAVE in your game, like low angled slices, deep crosscourt moons, S/V, maybe spin some wide short second serves in.
Like they say, when you're winning, don't change a thing.
When you're losing, you better start dinking, thinking, and using alternative strategy.
That's why a complete game, when played well, can usually beat a one dimensional game, when played well.
Now you're gonna bring Fed/Nadal into the pic. Not fair, Nadal is mentally tougher, is prepared to run longer, faster, and more often, and can rest when he serves to Feds backhand.

LuckyR
02-08-2009, 11:27 AM
I'm a 16 year old junior top ranked in my section. For essentially my whole junior tournament career (since I was 8 ), I've had the problem of streakiness, sometimes I'm playing GREAT, while others I'm playing terribly. I've been trying to find it within myself to keep focused during matches and to think about my game to keep my tennis at a high level, and I've done a good job with that, but I can't seem to figure out how to not be so darn streaky. I've had some GREAT wins and some great matches in my life where I have played great, but I have had more matches that I have played very bad in. I dont get mad on the court, I always give 110% effort, and I always try my hardest to keep a positive attitude- even if I'm losing.

I have had tournaments where I would kill a great player, and the next round I would lose badly to a kid who I have killed weeks before. I have also had matches where I would destroy my opponent in the first set, then lose the next set badly, and then either kill him in the 3rd or I would keep my low level of play through the 3rd. I have once won a match 6-0, 0-6, 6-0 (looking back on that match, it was pretty funny, but thats not the point).

All in all, I need to figure out how to consistantly keep a medium to high level of play- for whole matches, for whole tournaments, for whole weeks, for whole months, etc.

Any ideas on how to fix this?

Thanks


Has it occured to you that on the days you lose, the other guy is posting that "I have had tournaments where I would kill a great player"? It's not just about you.

miniRafa386
02-08-2009, 02:14 PM
Has it occured to you that on the days you lose, the other guy is posting that "I have had tournaments where I would kill a great player"? It's not just about you.

well that would just be a day where you lost to a better player. everyone has had matches where they would lose even if they are playing their best, ive had them too. the thing is that ive had days where i would lose to players that are not at my level because of my streakiness

LuckyR
02-08-2009, 03:36 PM
well that would just be a day where you lost to a better player. everyone has had matches where they would lose even if they are playing their best, ive had them too. the thing is that ive had days where i would lose to players that are not at my level because of my streakiness

I am not being clear. What I mean is that just as you feel that it is perfectly reasonable to beat players better than yourself from time to time because you play exceptionally well, players not as good as you should beat you on occasion for the same reason. In other words, your losses to lesser players may occur becasue they played better, not because you played worse.