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proffitt
09-22-2011, 07:00 PM
There is a singles ladder at my club, and I played the guy at the top. I was up 5-2/ 40-15 in the first set and... I lost!! I should of won but I mentally choked. Second set he wooped me 6-1. How does everyone else deal with closing out a set or match. Any tips?? By the way, I'm a solid 3.5, at times i look like a 4.0. My opponent is actually a 4.0.

SStrikerR
09-22-2011, 07:17 PM
Well, what changed? Did you try to hit harder? Did you hit more conservatively? Were you hitting the net more often? Did he change his strategy and you failed to adjust? What happened?

proffitt
09-22-2011, 08:43 PM
well i did a few things, played more conservatively, hit softer and i just tighten up. i was really dominating the points. good pace, had him chacing balls from side to side. once i stiffened up, my shots had less direction and pace and it gave him the opportunity to take charge of the point. but all of this happened because i mentally broke down and i was hoping that others would share there strategy when they get them selves in this position. I don't have a lot of singles match experience and was really hoping on getting some from all you veterans.

atac
09-22-2011, 08:50 PM
Just keep playing singles matches, preferably tournaments where most likely you might feel more pressure in these situations than a casual match or something. Also don't think about the score, just focus on your game plan and focus on each point individually. Past and future points don't exist.

proffitt
09-22-2011, 08:56 PM
when you say focus on each point individually, do you mean the point in general or do you pic individual pieces to focus on. i get tight and the thoughts of messing up,snow ball effect creep into everything. what are some tricks to stop dwelling on those things.

atac
09-22-2011, 09:30 PM
Try not to worry about the outcome, just think of how you want to construct the point. Plan a series of shots ahead of time. For example, serve out wide on deuce and then continue to hit to that same side of the court to keep them isolated and then hit to the other side. Try to construct the point using your best shots against their weakest ones. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

I think a lot of it has to do with experience because I used to have the same exact problem until I started playing a lot of tournaments and in high school matches. Eventually I got over it, however on certain occasions I will sometimes get tight. I'll just focus on what I need to do to win. A coach I used to take lessons with said that getting nervous doesn't allow the muscles in your arm to execute the stroke correctly, so worrying about messing up often results in just that.

Also try to take advantage of playing better players. Often times when I would play people I knew I probably wouldn't beat, I started playing with less pressure and my game raised. If you play people like this often it forces you to play your A game and you begin to gain some confidence.

spaceman_spiff
09-23-2011, 12:56 AM
when you say focus on each point individually, do you mean the point in general or do you pic individual pieces to focus on. i get tight and the thoughts of messing up,snow ball effect creep into everything. what are some tricks to stop dwelling on those things.

Just remind yourself that what you were doing up to that point was working well, so you just want to keep doing the same thing.

Think about what type of serve/return you want to hit, keeping it similar to what you have done before. Then, think about what type of strategy you want to go for in the point, again keeping it similar to what you know has worked.

You have to convince yourself that going for the same strategy/style that has worked up to that point is the right decision, so there is no reason to question anything or worry about missing. You're making the right choice, so the only thing worth thinking about is how to execute that choice.

The more you focus on that, the less you'll focus on thoughts that perpetuate the nervousness.