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quiKpoinT
10-08-2011, 07:32 AM
I can't stand it. I love tennis, but every time I step off the court, I'm ready to kill someone.

My mental game is horrible. I play well for say, the first two games, and then each and every mistake that I make only serves to infuriate me. After two games, I'm done. I can't play. I'm just too angry. I hold it in until I get into my car after which my steering wheel takes a beating.

Please help me. What can I do to improve my mental game? I always get so frustrated at how bad I am at tennis that I can't ever play well. It's a vicious cycle.

sphinx780
10-08-2011, 08:03 AM
Try and learn to let go, tennis is about having fun...so enjoy it all, the great shots, the mistakes, the bounce before the serve hitting your toe and rolling to the fence, the sound of the ball hitting the strings just right, the smell of a fresh can of balls being opened.

You could be spending your time doing things that suck, but instead you get to spend that two hours playing tennis. Win or lose, there are much worse things in life...so enjoy it for the privilege it is to play.

Oldracquet27
10-08-2011, 08:04 AM
Remember tennis is a sport that takes time to get good at it. Now, if you believe in yourself and put the hard work , that will give you all the positive energy you need for eventually succeed. When something is not working then try to do different things. Remember you get good by drilling , focused practice, NOT playing only matches, where our egos ( and it is like that for almost every human being) will not let us perform properly, because we are just thinking on not losing a match.

Take a break of playing matches, find a partner to practice, use ball machines, etc. and stablish an inmediate plan on improving an specific part of your game. Everything will work ( maybe slowly, there is a lot to work on if you are just an intermediate player) but i can guarantee you it will.

sureshs
10-08-2011, 10:21 AM
Try Fedex or UPS

AceServer
10-08-2011, 01:14 PM
Try Fedex or UPS

You have to use USPS, obviously :)

Relax, remember it's just a game. Just try your best on the court.

sureshs
10-08-2011, 01:17 PM
Just like USPS offers tracking numbers, learn to track your emotions and you will be in control.

blkkirk
10-08-2011, 01:25 PM
Deeper issue than just your mental game. Make friends with your inner Squasher. The part of you constantly beating you up and punishing your actions. Don't take this the wrong way but therapy can be very helpful. This is learned and can be changed.

sureshs
10-08-2011, 01:33 PM
But if he is really that bad a player, he should hate himself, no?

r2473
10-08-2011, 04:55 PM
I can't stand it. I love tennis, but every time I step off the court, I'm ready to kill someone.

Please help me.

How do you want to do it?

CDestroyer
10-08-2011, 05:21 PM
I undastand quikpoint,

I have never played another sport where I have such highs and lows and when I say lows I mean I want to do a head dive on the court.

Every one can tell you its just a game, lifes too short, dont be such a baby etc. but it doesn't stop your blood from boiling.

Eventually you will either get better, quit or worst of all stay the same.

dennis10is
10-08-2011, 07:33 PM
I can't stand it. I love tennis, but every time I step off the court, I'm ready to kill someone.

My mental game is horrible. I play well for say, the first two games, and then each and every mistake that I make only serves to infuriate me. After two games, I'm done. I can't play. I'm just too angry. I hold it in until I get into my car after which my steering wheel takes a beating.

Please help me. What can I do to improve my mental game? I always get so frustrated at how bad I am at tennis that I can't ever play well. It's a vicious cycle.

Be sure to pack a pistol or have a rifle in your car. It is such a waste to let that feeling pass without acting on it. Own your feeling, they are the true you. You play tennis badly, someone must die. It seems reasonable to me. You can't possibly be the reason why you play badly. And if you don't think it is your opponent's fault that you play badly it must be somebody else. Maybe, that little old lady crossing the street was using voodoo against you. Come on, step on the accelerator, you can always claim it was the car's fault, and sue the car company. Two birds with one stone so to speak.

Mick
10-08-2011, 07:40 PM
find worse players and play with them. you will feel invincible and your mental game will improve (against them) :)

sphinx780
10-08-2011, 07:41 PM
Be sure to pack a pistol or have a rifle in your car. It is such a waste to let that feeling pass without acting on it. Own your feeling, they are the true you. You play tennis badly, someone must die. It seems reasonable to me. You can't possibly be the reason why you play badly. And if you don't think it is your opponent's fault that you play badly it must be somebody else. Maybe, that little old lady crossing the street was using voodoo against you. Come on, step on the accelerator, you can always claim it was the car's fault, and sue the car company. Two birds with one stone so to speak.

Yes and yes, I hereby recant my prior statement.

dennis10is
10-08-2011, 07:47 PM
Yes and yes, I hereby recant my prior statement.

Now you are learning my young padwan learner. When I lose a tennis match, I would garrotte my opponent, punch my wife, slap my mistress, kick my dog, whip my kids and do some serious gardening. They are all to blame, minus my garden of course.

sphinx780
10-09-2011, 07:06 AM
Well, if it's anything like my garden, it had it coming...

fuzz nation
10-09-2011, 05:54 PM
I can't stand it. I love tennis, but every time I step off the court, I'm ready to kill someone.

My mental game is horrible. I play well for say, the first two games, and then each and every mistake that I make only serves to infuriate me. After two games, I'm done. I can't play. I'm just too angry. I hold it in until I get into my car after which my steering wheel takes a beating.

Please help me. What can I do to improve my mental game? I always get so frustrated at how bad I am at tennis that I can't ever play well. It's a vicious cycle.

When I started coaching high school teams some years back, I tried to further my knowledge of things. I eventually certified with the USPTA, but also did some reading and one book contained multiple revelations for me. It was Vic Braden's Mental Tennis. Yes, I strongly recommend it to you.

One of the sections in the book covered exactly what you experience with your tennis. For now, I'll offer that you sit down with a pen and paper and think about your expectations of yourself and your tennis. Write them down and look them over. I'll bet you a nickel that they're either not quite in touch with reality or you're not being honest with yourself when you play. (...unless your name is Federer, etc. :shock:) Demanding some sort of perfection in your game is only a recipe for perpetual disappointment.

Aside from confronting the expectations you carry with you onto the courts, I also think you need to make a decision. If you are truly interested in playing decent tennis, you have to recognize that your self-hating freak-outs are really just cop outs. When you get furious about what's going wrong when you play, you're fixating on the things that are causing your errors. You're just doing it with a little high drama sprinkled on top. You're choosing to ignore what you need to do right, even if it's something as basic as keeping your eye on the ball.

When you decide to put in the hard yards and get better, you'll recognize those angry gremlins in your brain as nothing but distractions to lure you off that path to improvement and success. Once you see them for what they are, you won't get PO'ed because it simply won't help you with your game.

bee
10-09-2011, 07:09 PM
find worse players and play with them. you will feel invincible and your mental game will improve (against them) :)

That's pretty good adivise. I will add: Perhaps you should not play competitive sports. You know, where one person wins and the other person loses. It can be brutal on your ego. Consider playing just doubles. Much easier on the ego.

Another option is to become much better, but that really takes some work.

Study the behavioral advise and mind set (not religion of) Buddhism. Really. It's helped me a great deal.

You're probably pretty young. Like so many things, your tennis game won't seem as important when you are 10-20 years older. I cringe when I look back on some of my on court behaviors of the past.

Bagumbawalla
10-09-2011, 07:10 PM
Yes, there is a vicious downward spiral, as you describe.

There is also the possibility of a more difficult and time consuming upward spiral.

As you improve your game the mental aspect improves. As your mental situation improves, your game also bebefits, and on, and on, and on.

I have a friend with similar frustrations. It got to the point where a another friend of his refused to play with him. I have been working with him for about a year, now, and his game has improved (most likely, mine too). The more his game improves, the better his attitude. He still gets beaten, but, when he does, he knows it is because they are simply better players, not because he is playing poorly.

If you can get someone to work with you on a regular basis- iron out the kinks and deficiencies in your game- it could be a first step to what you are looking for. Good luck.

dParis
10-09-2011, 08:07 PM
I can't stand it. I love tennis, but every time I step off the court, I'm ready to kill someone.

My mental game is horrible. I play well for say, the first two games, and then each and every mistake that I make only serves to infuriate me. After two games, I'm done. I can't play. I'm just too angry. I hold it in until I get into my car after which my steering wheel takes a beating.

Please help me. What can I do to improve my mental game? I always get so frustrated at how bad I am at tennis that I can't ever play well. It's a vicious cycle.
How long have you been playing? What's your level? Are you in a league; tournaments; what?

I know the more I play and the more experience I get, the more I realize how much I don't know. When you are playing people who are playing to win, the game will start handing you the knocks - no matter what. And you can only start dealing with the knocks after you experience them.

I thought I was better than I really am. Sometimes I am as good as I think I am, and that only makes the matter worse because it gave me a false sense of competence. Sometimes when I would lose a match, or even a set, it would eat at me for days. I would, and still do, screw up easy shots, forget to press my advantage, get beat on the same play, late in the match, even though I've known from the third game what my opponent is trying to do to me, choke away points; games; sets; matches...

I am finally dealing with, and accepting, the reality that I will screw up a shot, or several shots during the course of a match. I know my opponent will do the same. (There was a time my tennis head was so messed up that I would feel guilty about winning matches because if it weren't for a few key point that my opponent messed up, I may have lost the match.) I just try to manage around my errors and find a way to win the game. Only when I started accepting, was I able to begin reducing the occurrence of my errors. It's a long road though, and there is so much I don't yet know.

Identify your shortcomings. Accept them. Then begin working on correcting them. This may be done during lessons or during matches. Sometimes it takes several beatings for the lesson to stick.

rjw
10-09-2011, 08:48 PM
Take it out on a ball machine

Beat it into submission....nobody gets hurt !!

Maui19
10-10-2011, 04:09 AM
I've never known anyone who has an anger problem in sports that didn't have an anger problem in life.

TennisCJC
10-10-2011, 06:18 AM
There is an old saying and I cannot remember where it originated but it is:

"Tennis does not build character, instead it reveals it".

The ideas above about reading some books dealing with the mental aspects of the game are good - Allen Fox, Vic Braden are good advisers.

No one likes to lose but losing is part of the game. It is also part of improving in that you need to play better players to improve. If you are winning 75% or more of your matches and not playing open level, you probably need to move up. I mention this to make the point that there will always be someone better than you in your area unless you are a really highly ranked player. Still it is great fun to play at a competitive level and feel like you are playing well and winning. Take care of tennis and don't let your anger ruin the game for you or you will lose the ability to play and have fun.

Fuji
10-10-2011, 10:30 AM
Don't worry too much about it!

What you need is a practice partner who can spank you every time you play. My normal practice partner can usually beat me 6-2, 6-1. It keeps me in check and prevents me from getting too worried about my game! Then all my other matches seem a lot less worrisome knowing that my weekly beat down is coming LOL!

-Fuji

quiKpoinT
10-10-2011, 12:38 PM
Interesting advice. All of it is appreciated -- even the sardonic ones. Though I must say, Maui19, your keen observations are quite frightening.

Nevertheless, I'll see what I can do. I'm a choking type, but I understand that my mental game needs a lot of improvement.

TheMagicianOfPrecision
10-10-2011, 12:50 PM
I've never known anyone who has an anger problem in sports that didn't have an anger problem in life.

Might be true.

Although, off court im a very calm guy.

On court, i get so frustrated that i break my racquet or smash balls into the wall etc, i have a hard time realizing that i no longer can do what i used to do :(

Fuji
10-10-2011, 01:13 PM
Might be true.

Although, off court im a very calm guy.

On court, i get so frustrated that i break my racquet or smash balls into the wall etc, i have a hard time realizing that i no longer can do what i used to do :(

Don't worry TMoP! Everyone hits that point!

How do you think I felt after competing at Nationals for Taekwondo, to go back after a knee injury and get knocked out in the first round of a local tournament! :lol: :(

-Fuji

luishcorreia
10-12-2011, 07:01 AM
I HIGHLY recommend this book:

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/The_Mindset_Book/descpageMIND-MINDSET1.html

I'm not as bad as you, :), but this book really improved my mental game.

TennisCJC
10-13-2011, 09:49 AM
Might be true.

Although, off court im a very calm guy.

On court, i get so frustrated that i break my racquet or smash balls into the wall etc, i have a hard time realizing that i no longer can do what i used to do :(

Years ago I had a friend who was quiet, nice and easy going off the court but angry as hell on the court. His anger was always directed at himself. It was funny to witness in a weird way. This was decades ago and he played the aluminum head racket with the red throat piece. He would get mad and hurl his racket against the fence or court when he was playing poorly. The aluminum frame would warp from on the smacks against the fence/court. He would then look at the racket head, see it was warped and begin to beat it on the court in an attempt to reshape it back into it's original oval shape. That didn't work too well.

LeeD
10-13-2011, 09:59 AM
At least you care. Some tennis player's don't.
"I'd rather feel something than feel nothing"....
It's just a game for exersise.
Making mistakes is OK in tennis and golf. Nobody get's hurt.
Try making stupid mental errors while racing motocross or roadracing. You WILL get hurt...then it's for real and it counts.