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farwellbooth
06-21-2005, 09:39 PM
I signed up for a 3.0 World Tennis Team and got bageled our first set in mens doubles 0-8. This was my first tourny (and a pretty friendly and relaxed one) and I was a basket case. All I can think of are excuses and frankly I played so crappy. I could hardly return serve I was such a mess. I rarely play outdoors and the sun was out, windy, the outside lights came on, lots of spectators, hottie on the neighboring court, I didn't really get warmed up, airplanes, you name the distraction it was there. I really do have a much better game. How in the world do I bring it out? I've read "The Inner Game of Tennis" and tried to shut Self 1 up by focusing on my breathing and just looking at my strings. Self 1 was a monster though and I couldn't access the good stroking Self 2.

TwistServe
06-21-2005, 10:24 PM
Man I hate those 8 game matches.. Screw that.. play a real best of three sets normal tennis scoring.

divito
06-21-2005, 10:48 PM
Nah, Kramer set is pretty good in my opinion.

stc9357
06-22-2005, 02:58 AM
The eight game pro set is a really good set if you don't have a lot of time or you did something real tiring earlier such as the cut the lawn or work out in the yard.

ZhangM58
06-22-2005, 03:40 AM
I'd have to agree with twistserve. I'd rather play in a best out of 3 sets match :(

Grimjack
06-22-2005, 04:29 AM
This was my first tourny (and a pretty friendly and relaxed one) and I was a basket case.

Okay, here's the deal. First things first: It was your first tournament, EVER. The whole point of playing a first tournament, ever, is to get that first tournament out of your way. You were nervous. Big deal. No harm done, and now you know what to expect. Mission accomplished.

Now, here's how you progress so that you don't keep getting bageled:

All I can think of are excuses and frankly I played so crappy. I could hardly return serve I was such a mess. I rarely play outdoors and the sun was out, windy, the outside lights came on, lots of spectators, hottie on the neighboring court, I didn't really get warmed up, airplanes, you name the distraction it was there. I really do have a much better game.

Step 1: stop making excuses. Losers find excuses, and accept them. Winners find reasons, and fix them. Your first-tournament jitters are out of the way -- that reason fixes itself. Everything else you list is just a matter of getting your head straight. Therefore, I give you...

Step 2: RELAX. You're not playing tournaments because you have something to prove. You're playing them because you enjoy the game, remember? There is no pressure here that you don't put on yourself. If you find you don't enjoy the tournament atmosphere, quit playing them. If you find you do, relax, and enjoy the opportunity. Remember while you're out there that there's just about nothing else you'd rather be doing, and you'll ease up and perform.

Here's a hint for those prone to overthink these things:

If you're the sort of person who absolutely MUST set goals before a match starts, don't set results-oriented goals. You can't control how well the other guy performs, only what happens on your own side of the net. If you have to have something to concentrate on doing well, don't make it "win the match," or "win five games." If you set that sort of goal, on the occasions when the other guy makes it impossible, YOU end up feeling like a failure, even though YOU did nothing wrong. Instead, make goals for yourself that YOU have 100% accountability for achieving: "watch every ball," or "get into position for every shot." Get your mind on things your tennis-brain knows you need to concentrate on, and the nerves about the situation will disappear -- your brain will be too busy with important tennis stuff!

Get back out there. Good luck.

donnyz89
06-22-2005, 11:43 AM
if u cant beat em, hurt em... thats what my coach always tell me.

Geezer Guy
06-22-2005, 11:46 AM
Very good post by Grimjack above.

I will add that the MORE tournaments you play, the more relaxed you will be. While you'll probably always be a little nervous, you'll find that you'll be less nervous, and you won't be nervous for as long. So, for sure get back out there and play more.

Also, if you're used to playing indoors, it DOES take a bit of adjustment when you first go outdoors. There ARE more distractions, there IS the sun and wind. As you play more outdoor matches, you get used to these things. Before your next outdoor match, go to that location and play some practice matches (if possible, with the "hottie on the neighboring court"). Keep at it. It'll get easier.

akj27
06-22-2005, 11:52 AM
MY first tournament will be July 6th, I hope i do well

cervelo
06-22-2005, 01:55 PM
I wanted to reply to this thread but Grim has it wired.

The only suggestion I would add would be to keep a dated notebook of various ideas, thoughts, concerns and goals - whatever enters your mind-

It's always helpful to analyze problem areas in your strokes in a notebook ... but it's equally important to ask "how did I strategize?" Or, what plan of attack did I attempt to impose upon my opponents? and vice-versa.

cervelo
06-22-2005, 02:04 PM
no sense getting nervous ... cuz if you want to talk about embarrassing yourself on a tennis court - (and here's a nice visual to help you smile next time you're out there ...)

one time, before a match, my buddies kept me out pretty late the night before (notice how it wasn't my fault) - I knew I was in trouble by match time ...

not only did I lose 6-0, 6-0, but I was so dehydrated during the match that, during one service toss, I got hang-over/vertigo and fell over ... but I was still trying to swing at the ball which came down and hit me on the head ... picture me as this Agassi wannabe, with all the tech'ed out gear, lookin' like "primo tennis guy," droppin' flat onto the court with the ball bouncing off my head ... much to the delight of on-lookers ...

moosryan
06-22-2005, 02:33 PM
cheer up i lost 6-0, 6-0 at my first tourney. it'll only get better!

darkhorse
06-22-2005, 06:30 PM
I know exactly how you feel. In my first challenger, I lost 6-1 6-1, mostly because I missed extremely easy shots (I hit about 3 or 4 overheads right into the net). I felt pretty crappy, but when I thought about it, I did poorly because I was nervous.

In my next tournament, I lost to a ranked player (and the 4th seed) 6-4 in the first set. Even though I lost the second 6-0 (my serve totally fell apart), I could feel my confidence growing.

A real easy way to improve is set small goals for yourself. Before your next match, make it a point not to get shutout. Once you do that, concentrate on holding serve. Next, try to earn a break point or take the server to duece. Then you can concentrate on winning a set (or a match in your case since you only have 1 set).

dennis10is
06-22-2005, 08:37 PM
don't worry, it'll get worse :)

No, this is very normal. Try double faulting 24 consecutive times to lose 6-7 in the tie breaker, now that's bad :) happened to moi.

the reason for losing and winning is unique for everyone. I think that all of the posts here are all good and in the end, you have to embrace losing and winning. If you can get out of your way than you'll lose only because you should, the other guy played better.

I'm a psychologist and the psychological aspects of sports and competition in general fascinates me, can speak forever on it but it is a personal journey for you.

If you have had success in other activities, it MAY help to link the two.

enjoy the trip