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soyizgood
12-26-2009, 07:24 PM
Today I played a pro set against my friend. He had not played in 3 weeks and historically I've owned the head-to-head anyway. During warm-ups I was relaxed, showing off my improved forehand, and looked calm coming into our set. From there, hell broke loose.

The 1st game I served and due to a few lucky block shots by him I lost my serve. I was fuming. Then he served and I had break point chances but couldn't convert. He held 2-0 and I tossed my racquet. I served again and double faulted the last two points. I went ballistic, threw my racquet and was ready to blow up on something. He suggested we start all over and I told him "hell no!" I find it insulting to have my opponent even suggesting being merciful towards me. Somehow that might have lit a fuse with me.

I rallied back and eventually won 8-5, winning the last 5 games. I won, but it didn't feel like a satisfying win. My serve got me out of trouble and I proved my serve has indeed improved (most of my double faults were on my first two serve games). The forehand was good in warm-ups but not nearly as good during the set. Once again, I had to rely on my backhand to win.

My nerves got the best of me yet again. I was on the verge of really dinging up two racquets. I admit I am a hothead and I nitpick my flaws too much. At times I get so frustrated if I missed a shot that I'll just blank and lose a couple other points in succession. I sometimes wonder how much better I could be if I could contain my nerves.

Need some help clearing my mind during play. Advice is welcome. Thanks...

Davis937
12-27-2009, 12:36 AM
Today I played a pro set against my friend. He had not played in 3 weeks and historically I've owned the head-to-head anyway. During warm-ups I was relaxed, showing off my improved forehand, and looked calm coming into our set. From there, hell broke loose.

The 1st game I served and due to a few lucky block shots by him I lost my serve. I was fuming. Then he served and I had break point chances but couldn't convert. He held 2-0 and I tossed my racquet. I served again and double faulted the last two points. I went ballistic, threw my racquet and was ready to blow up on something. He suggested we start all over and I told him "hell no!" I find it insulting to have my opponent even suggesting being merciful towards me. Somehow that might have lit a fuse with me.

I rallied back and eventually won 8-5, winning the last 5 games. I won, but it didn't feel like a satisfying win. My serve got me out of trouble and I proved my serve has indeed improved (most of my double faults were on my first two serve games). The forehand was good in warm-ups but not nearly as good during the set. Once again, I had to rely on my backhand to win.

My nerves got the best of me yet again. I was on the verge of really dinging up two racquets. I admit I am a hothead and I nitpick my flaws too much. At times I get so frustrated if I missed a shot that I'll just blank and lose a couple other points in succession. I sometimes wonder how much better I could be if I could contain my nerves.

Need some help clearing my mind during play. Advice is welcome. Thanks...

... hmmm ... not quite sure if you need more help controlling your temprament on court or your nerves ... what do you feel needs more immediate attention ... the temper or the nerves?

The_Steak
12-27-2009, 12:45 AM
tell yourself to stop bit ching around on court and just play. It really worked well for me. It's what my coach said when I was always getting angry.

TennisKid1
12-27-2009, 08:21 AM
maybe take a bit more time in between points to calm down. talk some deep breaths and try to visualize the next point

Jay27
12-27-2009, 08:13 PM
Read the book "The Inner Game of Tennis". This book will change you and your game dramatically. You'll very quickly realize that it's your mind that you have to overcome, not your talent. Read the book...I guarantee you'll play better--immediately.

I used to lose relatively consistently (and I would be upset, throw rackets and things), but after reading that book I've not done that one time and am now consitently winning matches. And, matches that I used to lose to very tough opponents are so much more competitive. It's an amazing feeling putting the things in that book to use. Let me know the results!

Slazenger07
12-28-2009, 02:38 PM
Dude you just need to chill, I know how frustrating tennis can be when youre not playing your best, but if you want to consistently win, youve gotta be calm. If you keep your temper at home your body will stay relaxed and your stokes will stay lose. Forget about the doulbe fault you just hit or the sitter smash you missed or whatever and just relax, refocus, and prepare for the next point.

That is the approach you need to become a really good player.

Davis937
12-28-2009, 09:15 PM
... even the pros have their off days ... we all need to have "short memories" ... if we don't ... the game gets out of hand and we forget why we play ... the operative word is "play" ... have fun ... enjoy the game ... tomorrow's a new day!
_______________
"... I don't drink beer often ... but when I do, my friends ... I make sure it's Dos Seques."
(The Most Interesting Man in the World)

MrCLEAN
12-28-2009, 09:46 PM
Agreed w/ the above. The temper is keeping you down, but I'm not a shrink, so I can't tell you how to fix that, but I don't know that nerves are the problem, it's the temper/attitude for sure. Get that calm, and you'll be doing fine it sounds like.

plumcrazy
12-29-2009, 06:10 AM
Read the book "The Inner Game of Tennis". This book will change you and your game dramatically. You'll very quickly realize that it's your mind that you have to overcome, not your talent. Read the book...I guarantee you'll play better--immediately.

I used to lose relatively consistently (and I would be upset, throw rackets and things), but after reading that book I've not done that one time and am now consitently winning matches. And, matches that I used to lose to very tough opponents are so much more competitive. It's an amazing feeling putting the things in that book to use. Let me know the results!

I agree with the OP needs to read this. I've suggested this book a lot on TT and will continue to. It works! I played some of my best tennis after reading this book and by the way I hate reading. After reading this book, you feel a calm on the court that you have never felt before or at least I did. When I'm in a funk for a couple of matches I ALWAYS go back and read this book. Pick it up at your local book store. It's only around $15 and around 100 pages. Well worth it.

VaBeachTennis
12-29-2009, 06:43 AM
I'd say to work on your temper a little bit and gain a sense of humor on the court. Throwing your tool (racquet) is like a carpenter throwing his hammer because he couldn't hit the nail straight. It's not the hammer's fault it's the person wielding it. Same with the racquet.
When you do such things like throw your racquet, it usually digs you deeper into a hole of negativity and messes up your game. After you make a mistake try to laugh at yourself a little bit, give your self a short positive "pep talk", take a few slow deep breaths, shrug it off, and move on to the next point.

keepurpowderdry
12-29-2009, 01:12 PM
Everyones giving you excellent advice .

Also when your opponent asked if you wanted to start over was a perfect example of how weak your mental game is. Let that fuel you to read that book inner tennis and show that guy whats up . You know what,, I bet that would be more satisfying than just angrily beating him in a match.
Get the book.

Bud
12-29-2009, 01:54 PM
I'm guessing too, that after you won (8-5 ??)... you probably felt badly for being such a jerk to your opponent early in the match. You may have completely thrown him off his game by acting like a spoiled child, as well.

Wins like you describe aren't satisfying.

soyizgood
12-29-2009, 02:25 PM
I'm guessing too, that after you won (8-5 ??)... you probably felt badly for being such a jerk to your opponent early in the match. You may have completely thrown him off his game by acting like a spoiled child, as well.

Wins like you describe aren't satisfying.

Pro sets are first to 8. My friend and I have played 2 pro sets, with my winning 8-5 both times. First time we played he led 3-1 before I rallied to win that one. At least with that match I was tired from cleaning the apartment and from playing a 2 set match earlier that day.

He's almost as much of a hothead as me, though he's toned it down a bit of late. When we first started playing, I routinely took him down with some bagels and breadsticks to go with it. The past year our sets have been quite contested, but I usually find a way to pull out ahead. I'm 11 years older than him and started playing after high school whereas he played high school tennis.

I'm more concerned about refining my game for when I play some USTA 3.5 events. My ego took a huge dump in April when I made countless errors losing embarrassingly to a guy I feel I should have beaten. I want to improve my W-L record and establish weapons via the serve and forehand. One man who is a fitness trainer informally showed me a few pointers on the serve and forehand. I've been practicing as much as I can on those techniques. I know I'm a headcase, but I'd rather fight through it via improved play and establishing some trust in my game.

tyro
12-29-2009, 06:00 PM
Mastering your emotions is perhaps the greatest challenge in tennis . . . and one of the most rewarding.

I don't want to overstate things, but I feel like trying to discipline my mind on the court (and believe me, I've been much less successful than I'd like) has helped me grow as a human being.

The Inner Game of Tennis, as others have noted, is a powerful ally in the struggle.

--Tyro

http://tenniswire.wordpress.com

VaBeachTennis
12-29-2009, 07:00 PM
Mastering your emotions is perhaps the greatest challenge in tennis . . . and one of the most rewarding.

I don't want to overstate things, but I feel like trying to discipline my mind on the court (and believe me, I've been much less successful than I'd like) has helped me grow as a human being.

The Inner Game of Tennis, as others have noted, is a powerful ally in the struggle.

--Tyro

http://tenniswire.wordpress.com

Nice Blog man. I like the first article so far.

theZig
12-29-2009, 09:11 PM
If you have the time and energy to get mad at yourself, you just wasted that time and energy by NOT using it to better yourself. Your focus should be on WINNING, not whether or not you look amazing out there. A good player isn't one with great strokes; a good player is one that wins.

Storm_Kyori
12-29-2009, 09:34 PM
I used to get down on myself. People would notice when I felt that way. I stopped about a few months ago. I just started laughing things off and making razzberries (that sound you make with your tongue) or letting out a big breath kinda like a sigh after making a mistake. I found it so much more stress relieving than getting mad at myself. that works for me. i do get in my head at times and that is usually when i don't play at the level i know i can. i just shake my head and grind my teeth, but nothing volatile you could say. i've never thrown my racket.....it's just too expensive for me to do stuff like that to it.

TheLama
12-29-2009, 09:40 PM
Today I played a pro set against my friend. He had not played in 3 weeks and historically I've owned the head-to-head anyway. During warm-ups I was relaxed, showing off my improved forehand, and looked calm coming into our set. From there, hell broke loose.

The 1st game I served and due to a few lucky block shots by him I lost my serve. I was fuming. Then he served and I had break point chances but couldn't convert. He held 2-0 and I tossed my racquet. I served again and double faulted the last two points. I went ballistic, threw my racquet and was ready to blow up on something. He suggested we start all over and I told him "hell no!" I find it insulting to have my opponent even suggesting being merciful towards me. Somehow that might have lit a fuse with me.

I rallied back and eventually won 8-5, winning the last 5 games. I won, but it didn't feel like a satisfying win. My serve got me out of trouble and I proved my serve has indeed improved (most of my double faults were on my first two serve games). The forehand was good in warm-ups but not nearly as good during the set. Once again, I had to rely on my backhand to win.

My nerves got the best of me yet again. I was on the verge of really dinging up two racquets. I admit I am a hothead and I nitpick my flaws too much. At times I get so frustrated if I missed a shot that I'll just blank and lose a couple other points in succession. I sometimes wonder how much better I could be if I could contain my nerves.

Need some help clearing my mind during play. Advice is welcome. Thanks...

Whenever my players lose it and chuck their sticks, I always advise them to throw it even harder next time, and follow-up with the comment that it will make them play better. Either they get the point, or they do throw it harder, and are down one or more frames.

Eventually, this behavior stops as they waste money breaking frames--even if they are sponsored--or something really stupid happens, like a shattered frame's shard(s) hits an opponent, spectator, training partner, linesperson, or anyone in the vicinity. Then...it's over.

So just throw it harder next time!

tyro
12-30-2009, 07:47 PM
Nice Blog man. I like the first article so far.

Thanks a lot. I try to put up a post once a week or so about some tennis issue I'm struggling with or, when that list becomes overwhelming, some thoughts about something going on in the pro game.

--Tyro

tennytive
01-01-2010, 06:03 AM
I always thought pro sets were scored 1 to 4 with no ads, and it was first to win 10 games.

No?

soyizgood
01-02-2010, 07:27 PM
I always thought pro sets were scored 1 to 4 with no ads, and it was first to win 10 games.

No?

Out here (So Cal) it's to 8. I don't know how it's practiced elsewhere though. I've played 3 pro sets before, 1 of which with no-ad scoring.