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dozu
10-11-2011, 07:11 AM
many years ago, I regularly hit with this former college player... and he'd beat me 100 times in a row... but I never felt anything other than gratefulness that he was hitting with me so I can improve.

now that I have become the king of the community court, the scores are usually 6-0, 6-1.... something like that.

some people take that well, knowing there are things they need to work on... but others can get so bitter, even knowing that they still have a bunch of flaws.

why are egos so fragile? anybody with a psychology background, care to explain?

bad_call
10-11-2011, 07:17 AM
many years ago, I regularly hit with this former college player... and he'd beat me 100 times in a row... but I never felt anything other than gratefulness that he was hitting with me so I can improve.

now that I have become the king of the community court, the scores are usually 6-0, 6-1.... something like that.

some people take that well, knowing there are things they need to work on... but others can get so bitter, even knowing that they still have a bunch of flaws.

why are egos so fragile? anybody with a psychology background, care to explain?

maybe he's feeling down cause he's getting old and losing his abilities. tell him he's not alone. ;)

T1000
10-11-2011, 07:18 AM
I played 5 diff sports so I've always been competitive. Winning is succeeding and losing is failing so thats why lol. I don't care anymore since I don't play tennis competitively anymore. And we still have to hit sometime, I got a car on campus so we should try to meet up sometime.

jht32
10-11-2011, 07:26 AM
many years ago, I regularly hit with this former college player... and he'd beat me 100 times in a row... but I never felt anything other than gratefulness that he was hitting with me so I can improve.

now that I have become the king of the community court, the scores are usually 6-0, 6-1.... something like that.

some people take that well, knowing there are things they need to work on... but others can get so bitter, even knowing that they still have a bunch of flaws.

why are egos so fragile? anybody with a psychology background, care to explain?

There's a big difference between losing to a player who looks good and a player who looks like a hacker.

Most rec players would not mind losing to a former college player who has good looking strokes and just basically out-classing them.

Most rec players would get really frustrated losing to pusher/hacker.

dozu
10-11-2011, 07:34 AM
Most rec players would get really frustrated losing to pusher/hacker.

hm... that makes a lot of sense.

BMC9670
10-11-2011, 07:44 AM
IMO, it's simply Ego. It's human nature to view outcomes (winning or losing) as reflection on the self and the self-worth. Some can overcome this in the quest for improvement and/or enjoyment. Others can't.

Personally, I used to get down about losing more when I was younger and before I was sidelined by shoulder surgery. Now that I'm back healthy and playing over 40, I enjoy it more, no matter the outcome. It's still frustrating to play poorly when you know you can do better, but I feel I have a better perspective now.

dozu
10-11-2011, 07:48 AM
I played 5 diff sports so I've always been competitive. Winning is succeeding and losing is failing so thats why lol. I don't care anymore since I don't play tennis competitively anymore. And we still have to hit sometime, I got a car on campus so we should try to meet up sometime.

mainline, right? years ago I was living in upper darby, that would be a stone throw.

haven't been in that area for a long time.

PimpMyGame
10-11-2011, 07:56 AM
People hold themselves in very high esteem when it comes to competitive sports. I think tennis is one of the worst culprits and a defeat is really a wake-up call that the loser doesn't want to hear.

Tennis is quite a technical sport and to most isn't an easy one to play. When you play someone of a lesser ability you can play within yourself and know that you have a couple of gears spare at any time you need them. When you're playing someone better than you, the game is very different - you may think you need to take more risks, you are much harder on yourself when you make mistakes and of course opportunities are much harder to come by. I think we have all been on both sides of the fence.

To my mind when somebody loses to a player they deem worse than them, it is very difficult to deal with so anger and frustration take over. I only get frustrated when I play badly, whether it's against someone better or worse. But the main thing is to learn from your performance and push forward - something that many people refuse to do simply by their actions in defeat.

HunterST
10-11-2011, 08:05 AM
Competitive sports are basically a substitution for physical combat. We're striving for that feeling of being dominate over another person. When an athlete has a good play, he often furrows his brows and shouts something celebratory, but fairly aggressive (more tame examples are "COME ON," some less PC might be asking the opponent "WHAT, B****H?" Those reactions are spurred by feeling dominant.

So, when people lose, they feel as if they're being beaten in physical combat. Males don't want to be beaten in a fight. We want to think we're the most badass alpha males around.

spaceman_spiff
10-11-2011, 08:06 AM
I think it goes beyond sports.

Some people have a constant need to prove to themselves and/or others that they are superior, and they use a number of different indicators to do so. Whether it's a higher salary, bigger house, more expensive car, or whatever, for some people it's all about taking score. They feel good about themselves when their "score" is higher and bad when it's lower.

That's why an individual sport like golf or tennis makes them really upset when they lose; they feel like their "superiority" has been disproved. In a team game, they can always blame the other guys. But in an individual sport, it's all up to them.

On the other hand, some people just have anger management issues and need to learn how to chill out.

dozu
10-11-2011, 08:10 AM
Competitive sports are basically a substitution for physical combat. We're striving for that feeling of being dominate over another person. When an athlete has a good play, he often furrows his brows and shouts something celebratory, but fairly aggressive (more tame examples are "COME ON," some less PC might be asking the opponent "WHAT, B****H?" Those reactions are spurred by feeling dominant.

So, when people lose, they feel as if they're being beaten in physical combat. Males don't want to be beaten in a fight. We want to think we're the most badass alpha males around.

Hunter, this post confirms your badass alpha champion status of theoretical tennis on TT ! :twisted::twisted:

Cup8489
10-11-2011, 08:17 AM
Competitive sports are basically a substitution for physical combat. We're striving for that feeling of being dominate over another person. When an athlete has a good play, he often furrows his brows and shouts something celebratory, but fairly aggressive (more tame examples are "COME ON," some less PC might be asking the opponent "WHAT, B****H?" Those reactions are spurred by feeling dominant.

So, when people lose, they feel as if they're being beaten in physical combat. Males don't want to be beaten in a fight. We want to think we're the most badass alpha males around.


Agreed. Fortunately I know I'm an alpha male regardless of if I win or lose.

LuckyR
10-11-2011, 09:40 AM
many years ago, I regularly hit with this former college player... and he'd beat me 100 times in a row... but I never felt anything other than gratefulness that he was hitting with me so I can improve.

now that I have become the king of the community court, the scores are usually 6-0, 6-1.... something like that.

some people take that well, knowing there are things they need to work on... but others can get so bitter, even knowing that they still have a bunch of flaws.

why are egos so fragile? anybody with a psychology background, care to explain?


Tennis, unlike a lot of other sports, is more about lack of consistancy than hitting great shots. For example, if two guys are playing and one hits with 90% consistancy and the other hits with 80%, the 80%er is going to lose. Yet when he plays a 70%er he will win. It may not be obvious to him why he lost to the 90% guy, since his shots are the same as during his win (against the 70% guy). Thus he feels he is playing "poorly" even though he is playing the same. This false feeling can be very frustrating since he is not getting blown off of the court by a vastly superior player. He has no explanation for the loss. Hence the emotional immaturity. Simple really.

split-step
10-11-2011, 09:48 AM
When an athlete has a good play, he often furrows his brows and shouts something celebratory, but fairly aggressive (more tame examples are "COME ON," some less PC might be asking the opponent "WHAT, B****H?".

This made me lol hard.

dozu
10-11-2011, 10:17 AM
Tennis, unlike a lot of other sports, is more about lack of consistancy than hitting great shots. For example, if two guys are playing and one hits with 90% consistancy and the other hits with 80%, the 80%er is going to lose. Yet when he plays a 70%er he will win. It may not be obvious to him why he lost to the 90% guy, since his shots are the same as during his win (against the 70% guy). Thus he feels he is playing "poorly" even though he is playing the same. This false feeling can be very frustrating since he is not getting blown off of the court by a vastly superior player. He has no explanation for the loss. Hence the emotional immaturity. Simple really.

to me, this is one of the best posts I have read on TT.

NLBwell
10-11-2011, 10:26 AM
I never got mad about winning or losing, I would get mad about playing badly. In high school and somewhat even after that, I would be yelling at myself, berating myself about how useless I was even while winning 6-2 6-3 or so and would be pleased as punch if I put up a hard-fought match against a superior player. I had a high standard I expected to live up to and aspirations of playing even better than that (top level D-I). I still have no patience for playing badly, but it isn't important in my life and so I don't get truly angry. The pressure is truly from inside you.

TheMagicianOfPrecision
10-11-2011, 01:50 PM
Competitive sports are basically a substitution for physical combat. We're striving for that feeling of being dominate over another person. When an athlete has a good play, he often furrows his brows and shouts something celebratory, but fairly aggressive (more tame examples are "COME ON," some less PC might be asking the opponent "WHAT, B****H?" Those reactions are spurred by feeling dominant.

So, when people lose, they feel as if they're being beaten in physical combat. Males don't want to be beaten in a fight. We want to think we're the most badass alpha males around.

Damn straight!:)

user92626
10-11-2011, 04:09 PM
LuckyR,

The percentage thing is only one aspect of the game. I play with some of the most consistent people at community courts, in fact one guy called the lobster, dreaded by most players for his incessant high archy shots, but I hardly ever lose to him. I don't need to play his absurdly long rally game because I could just hit harder and with better placement.

Anyway, back to the OP's question, the answer's gotta do with expectation. When you expect to win and you don't, you'll get frustrated. The higher the expectation, the bigger the frustration. That's all.

HunterST
10-11-2011, 04:26 PM
LuckyR,

The percentage thing is only one aspect of the game. I play with some of the most consistent people at community courts, in fact one guy called the lobster, dreaded by most players for his incessant high archy shots, but I hardly ever lose to him. I don't need to play his absurdly long rally game because I could just hit harder and with better placement.

Anyway, back to the OP's question, the answer's gotta do with expectation. When you expect to win and you don't, you'll get frustrated. The higher the expectation, the bigger the frustration. That's all.

The way I like to think of it is with the question: "can you consistently create a shot with which your opponent cannot be consistent."

That means if you're being crazy consistent, but your opponent is good enough that he can be consistent with it and, likely, attack it you're going to be in trouble.

Similarly, you could generate huge pace, but if your opponent is more consistent at returning that shot than you are at generating it, you're going to lose.

user92626
10-11-2011, 04:44 PM
HunterS,

That's my point that you can't simplify it down to consistency. You have to talk about pace, placement, among other things, which you now bring up.

Frank Silbermann
10-11-2011, 05:32 PM
maybe he's feeling down cause he's getting old and losing his abilities. tell him he's not alone. ;) Is the former college player who used to beat you the one who gets upset, or are you talking about other people you now beat?

LuckyR
10-11-2011, 05:38 PM
LuckyR,

The percentage thing is only one aspect of the game. I play with some of the most consistent people at community courts, in fact one guy called the lobster, dreaded by most players for his incessant high archy shots, but I hardly ever lose to him. I don't need to play his absurdly long rally game because I could just hit harder and with better placement.

Anyway, back to the OP's question, the answer's gotta do with expectation. When you expect to win and you don't, you'll get frustrated. The higher the expectation, the bigger the frustration. That's all.

Of course it is one aspect but it is an aspect that the top Pros have to deal with, so by definition you have to deal with it too, regardless of who you stomp on in your community.

Every sport has great, winning shots. Comments on substituting winning at sport for combat are correct but are true for every single sport and non-sport.

dozu
10-11-2011, 05:49 PM
Is the former college player who used to beat you the one who gets upset, or are you talking about other people you now beat?

other people.

GuyClinch
10-11-2011, 10:13 PM
Interesting thread - I have my own theory..

In general the root of the problem is simple - a lack of exposure to sports in their youth and especially team sports. Almost any athlete of merit will have experienced several losses along the line - and he/she can handle it without making a fool of themselves.

Tennis though - attracts alot of non-athletes. Guys/Girls who never played team sports or any sports growing up. And its these people who are in general the worst sport. This might be an upsetting stereotype - but honestly the absolutely worst sports seem to women that absolutely suck and play doubles with other women..

The 'jock' women that are athletic and play with alot of men tend to be great sports. It's not really a huge problem unless you are a pusher then you probably tick off a few more folks.

arche3
10-12-2011, 03:45 AM
All hail dozu the king of 3.0 hackers on public courts! Why do you even play guys you beat bagels all the time anyways? Can't be fun. I don't even bother with guys I can beat that bad. I'd rather get beat and learn something than play hacks.

Also the comment in this thread about some tennis players who have never played team sports being bad losers is true imo.

tes
10-12-2011, 04:20 AM
All hail dozu the king of 3.0 hackers on public courts! Why do you even play guys you beat bagels all the time anyways? Can't be fun. I don't even bother with guys I can beat that bad. I'd rather get beat and learn something than play hacks.

Also the comment in this thread about some tennis players who have never played team sports being bad losers is true imo.

I agree whole heartedly. I play in a regional men's 3.5-4.5 ladder. I always enjoy playing "up" much more even though I usually lose against them.

Frank Silbermann
10-12-2011, 04:32 AM
many years ago, I regularly hit with this former college player... and he'd beat me 100 times in a row... but I never felt anything other than gratefulness that he was hitting with me so I can improve.

now that I have become the king of the community court, the scores are usually 6-0, 6-1.... something like that.

some people take that well, knowing there are things they need to work on... but others can get so bitter, even knowing that they still have a bunch of flaws.

why are egos so fragile? anybody with a psychology background, care to explain? Lack of character and virtue. That's why many businessmen play golf or tennis with subordinates; they have no time to get into all the technical details their subordinates deal with; they have to judge character, delegate at trusts. Sport reveals this.

dozu
10-12-2011, 04:37 AM
All hail dozu the king of 3.0 hackers on public courts! Why do you even play guys you beat bagels all the time anyways? Can't be fun. I don't even bother with guys I can beat that bad. I'd rather get beat and learn something than play hacks.

Also the comment in this thread about some tennis players who have never played team sports being bad losers is true imo.

by definition - king of community = no one else in the community left to concur, except some guys who are rarely available.

and I am lazy, don't want to drive more than 5 minutes for tennis.

this is a problem with being the best in the hacker circle... a good problem to have though.

arche3
10-12-2011, 04:48 AM
by definition - king of community = no one else in the community left to concur, except some guys who are rarely available.

and I am lazy, don't want to drive more than 5 minutes for tennis.

this is a problem with being the best in the hacker circle... a good problem to have though.

lol. you need to play left handed then...

Ben Hadd
10-12-2011, 05:07 AM
maybe he's feeling down cause he's getting old and losing his abilities. tell him he's not alone. ;)

Shhhh. First rule of fight club.

jmverdugo
10-12-2011, 05:19 AM
If I lose playing my best tennis, playing smart and being as consistent as i can be then I do not mind losing, I lost to a better player, but if I lose because I am nervous and hitting all out and plying stupid tennis then I get really mad.

T1000
10-12-2011, 05:29 AM
mainline, right? years ago I was living in upper darby, that would be a stone throw.

haven't been in that area for a long time.

West Philly/Lower Merion (SJU) bout an hour away I think, you're up by yard in bux right?

vincent_tennis
10-12-2011, 05:35 AM
many years ago, I regularly hit with this former college player... and he'd beat me 100 times in a row... but I never felt anything other than gratefulness that he was hitting with me so I can improve.

now that I have become the king of the community court, the scores are usually 6-0, 6-1.... something like that.

some people take that well, knowing there are things they need to work on... but others can get so bitter, even knowing that they still have a bunch of flaws.

why are egos so fragile? anybody with a psychology background, care to explain?

depends on holy they might have lost?

If one lost knowing he/she could ahve competed at a higher level then of course they'd upset?

dozu
10-12-2011, 05:49 AM
West Philly/Lower Merion (SJU) bout an hour away I think, you're up by yard in bux right?

that is right.

dozu
10-12-2011, 05:50 AM
depends on holy they might have lost?

If one lost knowing he/she could ahve competed at a higher level then of course they'd upset?

again by definition - these are guys in the same community that I beat on regular basis.

crystal_clear
10-12-2011, 06:01 AM
Bingo! People can't handle lose seem to have low self-esteem and they have to constantly prove themselves.

I think it goes beyond sports.

Some people have a constant need to prove to themselves and/or others that they are superior, and they use a number of different indicators to do so. Whether it's a higher salary, bigger house, more expensive car, or whatever, for some people it's all about taking score. They feel good about themselves when their "score" is higher and bad when it's lower.

That's why an individual sport like golf or tennis makes them really upset when they lose; they feel like their "superiority" has been disproved. In a team game, they can always blame the other guys. But in an individual sport, it's all up to them.

On the other hand, some people just have anger management issues and need to learn how to chill out.

thug the bunny
10-12-2011, 10:26 AM
I think many of these replies over-analyze. Let's simplify:

When I want to accomplish something (sports or non-sports) and I can't do it, frustration results. If I'm trying to change my oil filter and it won't come off, I get frustrated and angry. That's all. The competition aspect just exacerbates the emotions.

user92626
10-12-2011, 11:14 AM
That's correct! Thug

More precisely, I used the term expectation. :) I want to win the lottery like everyone else but my expectation to win is so low I won't feel frustrated at a loss at all, far less than your oil filter frustration.

I have a couple friends who started out the same time I did. These days they play unbelievably bad and we routinely lose when teamed up. They feel indifferent about losing and even got praises from opponents about how mellow they are. It has nothing to do self esteem. If anything their self esteem/ego should tell them to practice and expect better result (for start) rather than always being someone's punching bag. It's definitely no good to be strung around like a yo yo. LOL. But they don't care and expect little or nothing from tennis, 2 hours/week out to hit whatever is fine.

sundaypunch
10-12-2011, 06:33 PM
Tennis, unlike a lot of other sports, is more about lack of consistancy than hitting great shots. For example, if two guys are playing and one hits with 90% consistancy and the other hits with 80%, the 80%er is going to lose. Yet when he plays a 70%er he will win. It may not be obvious to him why he lost to the 90% guy, since his shots are the same as during his win (against the 70% guy). Thus he feels he is playing "poorly" even though he is playing the same. This false feeling can be very frustrating since he is not getting blown off of the court by a vastly superior player. He has no explanation for the loss. Hence the emotional immaturity. Simple really.

Very true.

And the frustrating thing is that the 80% player might have better looking / harder hitting strokes than the sometimes inferior looking but consistent 90% player.

The above situation also accounts for the many "pusher" threads here.

pyrokid
10-12-2011, 08:13 PM
I don't care if I lose to Federer, losing still sucks. I hate losing anything. Heck, I hate losing the racquet spin at the beginning of a match. I try and blow it off if it's not something I could have controlled the outcome of, but some people are just naturally more competitive.

fuzz nation
10-13-2011, 07:00 AM
I'd say it's a WHOLE lot more than just one thing.

Hey doz, in case you're interested, you might really enjoy Vic Braden's book, Mental Tennis. I never knew that he's a licensed psychologist in addition to being a tennis guru and even one of our sport's best comedians.

Braden is a guy who's been there, done that around the tennis world, but he also has a keen understanding of the mechanisms at work in our heads. When I picked up this book, I was looking to further my general ability as a teacher and high school coach, but I gained way more wisdom than I bargained for. I've loaned my copy out on a couple of occasions, recommended it routinely, and read through it myself a couple of times now.

Having chewed over this book, I'm now convinced that some players actually get hooked on the routine consolation they receive after a tough loss. I also agree that others are actually afraid of winning along with the new expectations that they'll have to live up to. The "getting upset" act is often a personal, internal diversion. Before I read this book, I might have dismissed these ideas as too "out there" or touchy-feely, but Braden's writing style is both straightforward and entertaining enough to make good plain sense. Hopefully you'll get the chance to check it out.

dozu
10-13-2011, 07:31 AM
^^ just ordered a copy :)