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View Full Version : Taking hard loss ... end of the world feeling..


monkeyisland90
01-12-2010, 11:22 AM
Ok, actually it wasn't the loss that bothered me.. but the fact i didn't play up to par and I have no idea why that happaned.. Just like studying hard for a test and you know you have all the knowledge.. but when test time goes you go blank and you play even worse then you picked up racquet ... I know this is why we have sports psyhoclogy and it's personal issue of mine I'm trying to find answer but anyone experience same thing? It was a challenge match for a usta team that is really competive and I think i might have some odd vibes from my opponent (who is my teammate also)..and just felt cold playing him.. mixed with nerves .... equaled shanking balls and mystery i still have yet to find answer too.. Been playing 5 years all year around and trying to find out what's the reason behind this but i can only make a conclusion that i might be head case :( I mean when I'm playing well, i can beat 4.5 players (not pushing.. but actual aggressive play with game plan and purpose)... but there are these days when my mind just shuts off and i'm in the dark where nothing is working..

I always almost debating on quitting becuase all these years of practicing, spending lot of money, and desire to be great has kind of put a shot in my heart when stuff like this happens.. But tennis has brought me good stuff also and became kind of like my safe crack so I'm sure i won't be quitting even if these experiences do keep coming.. I just don't want to let it sit in my memory bank as it keeps crawling back in my head before, during and after a match...

Ok, so back to the question... when you have a match that "counts" and have teammates relying on you and you play way below your par ... how do you cope .... I try to think of other things or even sleep on it.. but kind of seems that it's bothering me a lot... eventually time goes by it goes away, but I just want a faster way to cope so it doesn't affect my reasoning and functioning in daily life..

Or maybe i just need a break from tennis :neutral:

Ripper014
01-12-2010, 11:32 AM
Like none of us have underachieved at some point in our lives...? Get over it... you either get up and move forward or quit. The choice is always ours to make, I doubt your teammates are even thinking about it. I am sure they are aware you did what you could with what you had that day, now if you quit on the court that is something else.

LeeD
01-12-2010, 11:43 AM
I've always found that we are always judged by our WORST performances, that people see only our clumsiest moments, and instantly forget about our good performances.
That from years of football, basketball, motocross, surfing, waterskiing, snowboarding, skiing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, tennis ??
So to break that pattern, better to play more matches, practice less, so your match performance becomes your standard of play!
Whatcha dink of dat?

skiracer55
01-12-2010, 11:58 AM
...not a death sentence. Tennis is also, by the way, an individual sport at base. I don't play doubles or team tennis any more, just singles. Your mileage may vary, but it's easier for me to enjoy playing...and dealing with winning and losing...if I don't have to deal with a partner's expectations, or a team's expectations. I take a loss just as hard as anyone...then I get over it and go back to playing tennis again.

monkeyisland90
01-12-2010, 12:03 PM
Hey glad there's lot of owl tennis players with perspective... i like the fact playing more matches.. I'm actually progressing on what people think of my playing style (counterpunch agressiveness, grunts intensity) which allows me to be me... Anyhow that's true how people will sit there and just wait for mistakes to happen to look down on or think bad about the player... Kind of feels like a professional athelete who has done so much for the team and fans ... Example being I live in Seattle where Shaun Alexander got mvp 2004 and went to superbowl... fans praised him and he felt like top of the world... then he started performing bad and fans wanted him off the team.... I guess it's kind of human nature to point out the flaws and expect people to just be there best....

Ripper014
01-12-2010, 12:07 PM
In Shaun's case he probably got too much credit for his achievements... and too much abuse for his failures, but such is the way it is when you play in a high profile position.

Cindysphinx
01-12-2010, 12:15 PM
MonkeyIstland, what we need here is a bit of perspective. You are taking a tennis loss hard, you have an end of he world feeling. OK.

Consider this:

My husband's best friend is 50 years old. Three months ago he was a normal, healthy guy with a loving wife and thriving business. Today he is suffering from a fatal brain wasting disease, is in a nursing home when he isn't visiting neurologists, and remembers his loved ones off and on.

One of my doubles partners is finishing her fourth course of chemo. Two more to go. Then she gets the pleasure of wondering whether it is going to live or not.

One of my workout friends has a college age daughter who was struck by a car while jogging. Severe head trauma. No health insurance. My friend is paying the rehab bills and hoping the day will come when her daughter regains her short term memory, but is grateful that her daughter can speak a little now.

Like I said, it's all about perspective.

monkeyisland90
01-12-2010, 12:20 PM
Damn i feel awful now.. there always is perspective... but one something dear hurts you (in my case i put too much emphasis on tennis) it's only natural to dwell or fight off the pain and the perspective doesn't seem there... but as time goes on and these awful feels subside, it kind of makes feel completely guilty and shameful... But then again i guess i'll have to learn how to cope fast cause doing negative behaviors aren't really healthy .... guess i'll have to find ways to cope .. any coping suggestions you guys i'll try it out....

but yeah i guess you learn a lot by getting whooped or playing miserably...
I just get too worried about how long the slump will last though... ( guess that's when i need to take a break..lol)

But never quit

LeeD
01-12-2010, 12:20 PM
..and that is precisely why I don't have any friends, don't associate with my relatives, and DO keep my head buried in the sand ...:oops:
Boy, hanging around you must be a barrel of laughs and giggles.
They say there's a certain stage (age) in your life when all around you is dying off, I guess you're there.

Cindysphinx
01-12-2010, 12:23 PM
Lee, it does focus the mind and make you count your own blessings.

I took a horrific loss today to two DinkHackPushers. Horrific. Most embarrassing loss I have *ever* suffered in five years of playing tennis, without a doubt.

I'm OK with it.

LeeD
01-12-2010, 12:29 PM
Good to put the hideous past behind you, and look ahead for the next day.
I lose all the time to 3.5's in doubles, and while it bother's me (4.0) some, just think of it like Serve and Volley.
S/V, you hit 10. 3 winners.
1 loser.
3 the the opponent hits a winner or forcing shot
1 he hits a loser
2 determines who wins the game.
You have to let the past go before you can move forward.
My condolences as to your friends.

Ripper014
01-12-2010, 12:32 PM
Lee, it does focus the mind and make you count your own blessings.

I took a horrific loss today to two DinkHackPushers. Horrific. Most embarrassing loss I have *ever* suffered in five years of playing tennis, without a doubt.

I'm OK with it.

And they say dinkers could not win in doubles... ha!

And that is why I come to this forum... so Cindy and Topaz can poke and ridicule me... the pain reminds me that I am still alive.

I also don't believe at 50 that life is coming to an end... it just appears that your friends are having a run of bad luck. A lot of the seniors I spend time playing with are going through the same thing this year... a couple of deaths... lukemia... and prostate cancer, but they are all over 60 and some well into their 70's. But they are tremendous group of people that I enjoy spending time with and will continue to do so as long as they want me around.

Tennisman912
01-12-2010, 12:33 PM
Take the experience and learn from it. It happens to everyone on occasion. Break down the match in detail and understand what happened and why. Be brutally honest with yourself and your assessment. It only helps you in the long run. Then learn from it. It WILL help your game IF you take the time to learn from it. The only problem could be is if you don't remember the match in detail or why it happened. Then you know at least one thing to learn and incorporate for the future.

For example, I pay very close attention to what is going on in a match, singles or doubles, practice or a USTA match. I know how many unforced errors I make, how many volleys I miss or don't put away, my first and second serve approx %, how many returns I missed and the situations when I did, what was working and what wasn't and so on. I suggest you do the same. It will help you A LOT. You can't improve things you don't know or can't face are problems. The only way to know is to track everything possible.

Just after the match, I would have said something like, I just didn't get it done today or something. After the learning and a 5 minute groveling period (if you must), acknowledge it, accept it and then MOVE ON.

Dwelling on the past, especially shortcomings, will not help you improve. Learn and move on. Best of luck.

TM

Cindysphinx
01-12-2010, 12:40 PM
And that is why I come to this forum... so Cindy and Topaz can poke and ridicule me... the pain reminds me that I am still alive.
Nah, no ridicule. You're cool, that is clear. I enjoy reading your posts. I don't think I've missed one yet!

Ripper014
01-12-2010, 12:46 PM
Nah, no ridicule. You're cool, that is clear. I enjoy reading your posts. I don't think I've missed one yet!

Ok... who logged into Cindy's account?

monkeyisland90
01-12-2010, 12:48 PM
I'm just always wanting to have this tennis career even though i'm not a pro and when something doesn't go right i kind of think I'm a big failure since i spent so much money, books, and dedication to this sport somethings gotta give type of feeling.. But I guess I just have to suck it up, shake it off and refocus.

No way i'm saying tennis is my life cause i have wonderful family (can be dysfunctional but who's aren't :) ) and christian etc.. so i definately have perspective on things but man when human nature takes over even as simple as tennis loss.. it's quite hard to handle things.. so guess i'll have to find some simple coping strategies and realize life is good (i took that from the tshirt slogan)

btw... when you have match where everything is shanking ... is it due to nerves usually or the tension on my strings.. cause it just feels bad but then again my whole body felt nerves..

LeeD
01-12-2010, 12:51 PM
I always blame the tension on my strings, rather than take the responsibility of ME hitting like a can of poo, so I can live with myself easier.
If I take responsibility for my poor play, then what have I got for an excuse?

Ripper014
01-12-2010, 12:54 PM
When the wheels are falling off the cart... don't be worrying about what is in the cart. Fix the wheels...

If you are not hitting the ball cleanly... focus on making good contact. In matchplay this is all I do in warmup... I concentrate on making good clean contact... and providing my opponent whatever shot they are requesting... whether it is forehands, backhands, volleys or overheads. I am just focusing on making solid contact, everything else will take care of itself.

You can only be as good as you are... or as I say... wherever you are... YOU ARE. Quite enlightening isn't it?

UnforcedError
01-12-2010, 01:13 PM
btw... when you have match where everything is shanking ... is it due to nerves usually or the tension on my strings.. cause it just feels bad but then again my whole body felt nerves..

It is not the strings if you aren't getting much of them on the ball.

fuzz nation
01-14-2010, 07:59 AM
I think that these "all time lows" are inevitable for anyone dedicated to this game. I had mine a couple of summer back where I completely embarrassed myself at a super-snobby club where I played in a member-guest tourney with one of my dad's amigos (I also knew a lot of the people there). Couldn't put two shots together... seriously! This went on all day and we finished in a distant last place. It honestly would have only been worse for me if maybe I pee'ed myself in the middle of a match.

A real stinger like that takes more than just a day or two to get over and I was right there like you, weighing my options and considering a future without tennis. This experience was especially painful because I had just spent the last couple years rededicating myself to the sport, improving my skills a great deal, and even took up coaching high school teams. It seemed like all that effort had only earned me public disgrace.

A few years ago, I read a book by Vic Braden, Mental Tennis. I learned invaluable lessons from this guru of our sport, including the necessity to confront my expectations in terms of tennis. When they're out of touch with reality, it's the plain truth that any of us are eventually doomed to heartbreak with this game. Braden's writing is routinely illuminating (he's also a licensed psychologist) and also quite funny - I recommend his stuff all the time.

Having survived my low point, I can say that there was a lot that I learned from it and I truly appreciate my relationship with this game more than ever. I even completed a USPTA certification, so it's safe to say that I've moved on, right? If you are in the middle of a painful aftermath, I'd say just "put down the racquet and step away" for several days or even several weeks so that you can cool out. You probably can't do too much to improve things when you're in the middle of a funk, but later when you get that itch to get out and just hit a ball again, you'll be ready to get back in the sandbox.

For future reference, I once learned (maybe from Braden?) that it's extremely important to leave the courts on a good note. In the back of our heads, it leaves us looking forward to our future outings, not dreading them. If you get crushed out there, try to make time if at all possible to get back out on the court for an easy hit of maybe only ten minutes. Nothing more than eye on the ball and knocking it around. I've encouraged the kids I've coached to do this after a bad day and I've seen it make a night-and-day sort of difference in their attitudes. Remember to do this and you won't go home completely defeated, since your memory of your game isn't completely undone.

MethodTennis
01-14-2010, 10:12 AM
I played someone best of 5 sets for a place on a local team and I lost the first in a tie-break and then lost set 2 won sets 3 and 4. Me and the other boyhad been playing for about 3-4 hours at this point and I lost the 7-6 (15-13)

I was gutted no team tennis on the under 18s team for me

JoelDali
01-14-2010, 11:29 AM
I played someone best of 5 sets for a place on a local team and I lost the first in a tie-break and then lost set 2 won sets 3 and 4. Me and the other boyhad been playing for about 3-4 hours at this point and I lost the 7-6 (15-13)

I was gutted no team tennis on the under 18s team for me

Epic.

Like Borg and McEnroe.

Fed Kennedy
01-14-2010, 01:53 PM
Take a week off tennis and go swimming everyday.

Then watch the wimby 08 final on dvd followed by the nadal verdasco A0 O9 semi, followed by Nadal Soderling FO 09 followed by the Wimby 09 final. Heartbreak and triumph-- it's all there.

Consume an entire large pepperoni pizza. Pick up your racquet. Resume.

iankogan
01-15-2010, 04:54 PM
monkeyisland, other posters said it best about perspective. There might also be another issue to consider here: unrealistic expectations. You mentioned something about tennis career. What did you mean by that? Do you seriously think that the outcome of that match affects ANYTHING AT ALL?! One more thing: despite what you said in one of your posts here, no one is watching your game waiting to pass judgement. No one but you is giving a sH*t about your game man.

Ok enough kicking a man when he's down. My advice is to read a good book on tennis psychology. I haven't read Vic Braden's "Mental Tennis" yet, but it's considered a classic. From what I did read I'd recommend "The Best Tennis of Your Life" by Jeff Greenwald and especially "More Than Just The Strokes" by Jak Beardsworth - this last one is a little-known gem. If you feel you not up to reading yet, go watch Avatar get, kick back a few drinks, and have a good night sleep. Not necessarily in that order.

split-step
01-16-2010, 04:39 PM
Bad losses make for great motivators.
Yes, they suck. Yes, they are embarassing.

So what do you do?
Analyse why you lost, and work on it in practice.