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View Full Version : Losing focus when partner says "Put it away".


Raul_SJ
02-01-2012, 12:15 PM
I get distracted when a doubles partner says "kill it", "put it away", (or something similar) during a point.

It sort of breaks my concentration, i.e., it often wakes me up from the "unconscious zone".

I don't want to say anything to him because it's not a regular partner (drop-in play -- random partner environment).

What I really want to do is be mentally strong enough so that the chatter doesn't affect me.

Any tips on how to do this?

LeeD
02-01-2012, 12:25 PM
You're halfway there by realizing the moment.
I hate players saying "you" when it's clearly my shot. And if any player calls something, they'd better back it up with a shot at least as good as mine.
Verbal communication is not my strong point.

BU-Tennis
02-01-2012, 05:31 PM
Tell the other person to stop talking...you as a player should never have to deal with unusual sounds or someone trying to communicate with you during a point

Plus, talking during a point can lose you the point unless its simple communication, as in someone saying "you" or "me" during a lob when you're both at net, or telling someone to "bounce it" (meaning let the ball go out). I would think another player telling another player to "Kill IT!" might be along the lines of coaching, and could get distracting to an opponent.

But I do understand your dilemma in that this is a pick-up game, but I would still be courteous and just let them know that its distracting when they say it, and you'll end up playing better if they wouldn't say it. If they get offended then they're an ***hole...simple as that.

5263
02-01-2012, 05:35 PM
You're halfway there by realizing the moment.
I hate players saying "you" when it's clearly my shot. And if any player calls something, they'd better back it up with a shot at least as good as mine.
Verbal communication is not my strong point.

Lee makes good point here and right that you are almost there with your awareness.

This partner is wrong as you know, but you will be better thanks to him. You can learn to execute despite this distraction.

Look forward to playing with him like getting a lesson and work on expecting surprises, but don't let them cause you to lose focus.

LeeD
02-01-2012, 05:48 PM
Yesterday, I had a friend (my doubles partner also) say....PUT IT AWAY, as I was stretching for a low wide backhand half volley. I was hoping to avoid a whiff.
Different folks, different strokes.

5263
02-01-2012, 06:03 PM
Yesterday, I had a friend (my doubles partner also) say....PUT IT AWAY, as I was stretching for a low wide backhand half volley. I was hoping to avoid a whiff.
Different folks, different strokes.

speaking when I'm swinging is a weakness for me as well.

I work hard to get over it.

BU-Tennis
02-01-2012, 06:26 PM
For me, someone talking during a point isn't necessarily a distraction, but I know if a ball rolls onto the court I dont' hesitate to call a let because i've already lost my attention, and for some people noise can do this as well, especially when its words directed toward them.

It isn't a matter of having better focus, and not as simple as trying not to lose focus.

papa
02-01-2012, 06:48 PM
For me, someone talking during a point isn't necessarily a distraction, but I know if a ball rolls onto the court I dont' hesitate to call a let because i've already lost my attention, and for some people noise can do this as well, especially when its words directed toward them.

It isn't a matter of having better focus, and not as simple as trying not to lose focus.

Well, you just can't call a let (or shouldn't automatically) anytime a ball rolls on your court regardless of whether or not it distracts you. If the ball might cause a problem, then call a let. If not, and most don't, let it be and finish the point. Some are just too anxious to yell out let.

BevelDevil
02-01-2012, 10:49 PM
Maybe you should train yourself to respond positively to those remarks. When practicing, say to yourself "Kill it" as you put away sitters.

Also, there may be some subconscious resistance you have to your partner telling you what to do. Try to embrace it with a positive attitude.

ATP100
02-01-2012, 11:45 PM
I get distracted when a doubles partner says "kill it", "put it away", (or something similar) during a point.

It sort of breaks my concentration, i.e., it often wakes me up from the "unconscious zone".

I don't want to say anything to him because it's not a regular partner (drop-in play -- random partner environment).

What I really want to do is be mentally strong enough so that the chatter doesn't affect me.

Any tips on how to do this?

This is going in the right direction, in recreational play, you will always have distractions, when you practice, have a friend come with you and talk to you while playing, after a few times, you won't notice so much, after a lot of times, it won't bother you at all.

papa
02-02-2012, 05:11 AM
This is going in the right direction, in recreational play, you will always have distractions, when you practice, have a friend come with you and talk to you while playing, after a few times, you won't notice so much, after a lot of times, it won't bother you at all.

True. So mnay players, especially at lower levels, are too anxious to call lets not only for their own court but adjacent courts - so wrong unless there is immediate danger involved which is seldom the case.

fuzz nation
02-02-2012, 07:01 AM
Tell the other person to stop talking...you as a player should never have to deal with unusual sounds or someone trying to communicate with you during a point

I agree with BU's entire post, but only want to parrot this piece of it. Just tell your partner to quit the mid-point coaching. It's not the smartest option and I also agree that it's a hindrance for opponents (and you, too) if those calls are over the top.

Really the only talking that's reasonable during a point is that "yours" or "mine" call, along with perhaps a "switch" call when the deep partner has to go after a lob or something. I think that even those chirps should be kept down so that they're only loud enough to get the message to your partner and not everyone within a 300 yard radius.

goran_ace
02-02-2012, 07:40 AM
True. So mnay players, especially at lower levels, are too anxious to call lets not only for their own court but adjacent courts - so wrong unless there is immediate danger involved which is seldom the case.

I can't stand that. I was playing a league match on a windy day and this one lady (it was mixed dubs) called about 20 lets in the match regardless of how close the ball was to anyone on the court or what the situation was. On ad point we were dominating them and she called a let right before I was about to put it away even though the ball was no where near them and there was no way they were going to cover the opening - this was going to be a clean winner. On the re-play the same thing happened again where it's a longer point and then once we get the upper hand and I was about to put the ball away a ball rolls in and she calls a let. On third try, same thing again and I asked her "are you kidding me?" Fourth time around we ended up losing the point (and the game).

At the changover she explained that she is scared of having stray balls on the court because she knew someone who got injured that way. Then later in the match after they won a point I looked down to see a ball had rolled onto our court right and was behind my foot that I didn't see during play (but obvioulsy they could). Not so quick to call the let that time, eh?

BU-Tennis
02-02-2012, 08:33 AM
Well, you just can't call a let (or shouldn't automatically) anytime a ball rolls on your court regardless of whether or not it distracts you. If the ball might cause a problem, then call a let. If not, and most don't, let it be and finish the point. Some are just too anxious to yell out let.

I agree, I should have been more detailed. Not saying I call a let if a ball rolls in the back along the fence or curtain, but if it goes, or is close to going into the court I call a let mainly for safety reasons as I have rolled a few ankles myself.

But everyone has seen a ball roll through the court, out of harms way, but then dunked the next volley because they weren't paying attention. We aren't on Centre Court at Wimbledon so distractions do happen, but the tennis rules gives us remedies for these situations...and i use them whenever appropriate.

Raul_SJ
02-02-2012, 11:51 AM
I agree with BU's entire post, but only want to parrot this piece of it. Just tell your partner to quit the mid-point coaching. It's not the smartest option and I also agree that it's a hindrance for opponents (and you, too) if those calls are over the top.



To be clear, I am not interested in getting my partner to stop talking. I am interested in improving my concentration so that it doesn't affect me.

No doubt I would feel differently if it was an official tournament but
it's a pick-up game atmosphere (friendly yet somewhat competitive at times)
where I am playing with different partners.

Indeed, If I were to be a stickler for rules, people would be penalized for saying "Great get..." during a point (and many players do this). The reality is that many players are out having fun, and for whatever reason, talk during a point.

IMO, I should be able to play through the chatter. If I could do that, it would make me a better player, while still allowing partners to have fun and say whatever they want.

BU-Tennis
02-02-2012, 12:06 PM
The only way to get used to something is exposure, so find someone and make them yell at you when you hit lol

Raul_SJ
02-02-2012, 01:30 PM
The only way to get used to something is exposure, so find someone and make them yell at you when you hit lol

I figure if basketball players can shoot free throws with thousands booing them,
I shouldn't be thrown off either.

blakesq
02-02-2012, 01:40 PM
it is stupid for your partner to yell "kill it" just as you are about to hit a ball. you should tell him so at least he will learn not to be so stupid on the court.

I get distracted when a doubles partner says "kill it", "put it away", (or something similar) during a point.

It sort of breaks my concentration, i.e., it often wakes me up from the "unconscious zone".

I don't want to say anything to him because it's not a regular partner (drop-in play -- random partner environment).

What I really want to do is be mentally strong enough so that the chatter doesn't affect me.

Any tips on how to do this?

papa
02-02-2012, 05:35 PM
I can't stand that. I was playing a league match on a windy day and this one lady (it was mixed dubs) called about 20 lets in the match regardless of how close the ball was to anyone on the court or what the situation was. On ad point we were dominating them and she called a let right before I was about to put it away even though the ball was no where near them and there was no way they were going to cover the opening - this was going to be a clean winner. On the re-play the same thing happened again where it's a longer point and then once we get the upper hand and I was about to put the ball away a ball rolls in and she calls a let. On third try, same thing again and I asked her "are you kidding me?" Fourth time around we ended up losing the point (and the game).

At the changover she explained that she is scared of having stray balls on the court because she knew someone who got injured that way. Then later in the match after they won a point I looked down to see a ball had rolled onto our court right and was behind my foot that I didn't see during play (but obvioulsy they could). Not so quick to call the let that time, eh?

I hear you, to bad - actually she should give up the game if she is that scared. Too bad because they ruin the game for everyone.

papa
02-02-2012, 05:53 PM
I agree, I should have been more detailed. Not saying I call a let if a ball rolls in the back along the fence or curtain, but if it goes, or is close to going into the court I call a let mainly for safety reasons as I have rolled a few ankles myself.

But everyone has seen a ball roll through the court, out of harms way, but then dunked the next volley because they weren't paying attention. We aren't on Centre Court at Wimbledon so distractions do happen, but the tennis rules gives us remedies for these situations...and i use them whenever appropriate.

Well, distractions are part of the game. What would happen if I called a let because I heard a fire engine, a buzzer went off, car alarm went off, plane flew over, etc. I could say when I hear unusual noises or see a bird, I 'm distracted and think the point should be replayed - wouldn't be fair would it because there is always something -- at least some would use it whenever things start going wrong.

Would you call a let if a ball fell out of your/partners hand or pocket? Would you call a let if you dropped you racquet or your hat fell off? Although one can roll an ankle by stepping on a ball, that generally isn't how it happens. I spend most of my days on tennis courts and stepping on balls is NOT a major problem.

ATP100
02-02-2012, 07:14 PM
I can't stand that. I was playing a league match on a windy day and this one lady (it was mixed dubs) called about 20 lets in the match regardless of how close the ball was to anyone on the court or what the situation was. On ad point we were dominating them and she called a let right before I was about to put it away even though the ball was no where near them and there was no way they were going to cover the opening - this was going to be a clean winner. On the re-play the same thing happened again where it's a longer point and then once we get the upper hand and I was about to put the ball away a ball rolls in and she calls a let. On third try, same thing again and I asked her "are you kidding me?" Fourth time around we ended up losing the point (and the game).

At the changover she explained that she is scared of having stray balls on the court because she knew someone who got injured that way. Then later in the match after they won a point I looked down to see a ball had rolled onto our court right and was behind my foot that I didn't see during play (but obvioulsy they could). Not so quick to call the let that time, eh?


You need to play against this lady in the wind more often,
(you won't, but you should).

goran_ace
02-03-2012, 07:34 AM
You need to play against this lady in the wind more often,
(you won't, but you should).

I wasn't distracted by this lady's quick trigger on calling lets, just thought it was intentional/strategic and a little bush league on her part. Not a lot you can do about balls rolling into your court in the wind with no court dividers. It happens. I just thought she picked interesting times to call/not call a let.

Never again will I play her, but it's not because of this lady's sportsmanship, I just don't find mixed doubles to be enjoyable. It was a mixed combo league and I was on the roster as a sub as a favor to a friend since they needed more guys.

hawk eye
02-03-2012, 08:41 AM
I can relate to this. I did some recreative hitting for a few years, but I never really practiced my overhead.
Then i started to play doubles once a week, with differrent partners most of the time. There was this guy I played with who played doubles for over 20 years but He was ****ed when I didn't managed to put away my first two overheads. After that he started to yell (finish it), right at the the moment I was about to swing. Like that's gonna help.. Of course they know it's not of any help, but they do it anyway when they feel they have the right to be annoyed, or they want to make you feel bad. I have to say at that time it affected me, especially when he went on yelling at every smash opportunity.
Now I don't let it get to me anymore. My overhead has gotten a lot better anyway.

Clive Walker
02-03-2012, 09:59 AM
At my old club we had a fairly tight knit team that when playing rec tennis would attempt to wind each other up and put each other off continually from the sides of the court. A high lob was the favourite and would result in loads of abuse as the "finisher" lined up to put the ball away.

The abuse would double if you happened to shank the overhead

Totally out of bounds under any form of ettiquette, but boy does it work for helping you focus your mind. -and it's pretty satisfying to shut them all up.

Maybe you should get a few pals to help you work on it by abusing you terribly as you line up to put away a volley. -After that your partner calling out "bury it" might seem pretty tame..

LeeD
02-03-2012, 10:33 AM
Way to shut them up?
Easy, just CRUSH every overhead attempt like it's your first serve. Either they shut up from awe of your overheads, or they shut up because you miss SOOOOOOOO many easly putaways trying to show off crushing the ball.
Either way, they end up SHUTTING UP.

Raul_SJ
02-03-2012, 01:16 PM
Totally out of bounds under any form of ettiquette, but boy does it work for helping you focus your mind. -and it's pretty satisfying to shut them all up.

Maybe you should get a few pals to help you work on it by abusing you terribly as you line up to put away a volley. -After that your partner calling out "bury it" might seem pretty tame..


Baseball players are able to hit with a stadium full of screaming fans.

I don't think that hitting a tennis ball requires any more focus than hitting a baseball... It is doable.

hawk eye
02-03-2012, 01:56 PM
Baseball players are able to hit with a stadium full of screaming fans.

I don't think that hitting a tennis ball requires any more focus than hitting a baseball... It is doable.

It isn't so much the noise.. when it's continuous it wouldn't be that bothering. The disturbing thing of such a yell is, it comes when it's pretty silent, and you're preparing for your shot and all of a sudden the guy next to you shouts.
Pro players also don't like yells like that from someone in the crowd when they just tossed the ball for a serve.

dlk
02-03-2012, 02:04 PM
It isn't so much the noise.. when it's continuous it wouldn't be that bothering. The disturbing thing of such a yell is, it comes when it's pretty silent, and you're preparing for your shot and all of a sudden the guy next to you shouts.
Pro players also don't like yells like that from someone in the crowd when they just tossed the ball for a serve.

I think it's more a burden on the concentration when its totally quiet and eveyones watching "you." I would much rather play with yelling and distractions.

papa
02-03-2012, 02:39 PM
It isn't so much the noise.. when it's continuous it wouldn't be that bothering. The disturbing thing of such a yell is, it comes when it's pretty silent, and you're preparing for your shot and all of a sudden the guy next to you shouts.
Pro players also don't like yells like that from someone in the crowd when they just tossed the ball for a serve.

Why not consider ear plugs?

hawk eye
02-03-2012, 02:43 PM
Why not consider ear plugs?

Interesting option, shouldn't forget to take them out in between points though.
Before you know it you've got a reputation for either being deaf or an autist :).

hawk eye
02-03-2012, 03:25 PM
I think it's more a burden on the concentration when its totally quiet and eveyones watching "you." I would much rather play with yelling and distractions.

Unfortunately i don't get often to play in front of large crowds, who are loud enough.

dlk
02-03-2012, 03:29 PM
Unfortunately i don't get often to play in front of large crowds, who are loud enough.

I see. We don't have fans per se, but some facilities have viewing galleries. My quiet example was in league play when your match is last & is the decider, so everyone is watching.

hawk eye
02-03-2012, 03:33 PM
I see. We don't have fans per se, but some facilities have viewing galleries. My quiet example was in league play when your match is last & is the decider, so everyone is watching.

Ok , but even then I 'd rather not have my doubles partner yell when i'm about to play my overheads. I guess it's a personal thing.

dlk
02-03-2012, 03:41 PM
Ok , but even then I 'd rather not have my doubles partner yell when i'm about to play my overheads. I guess it's a personal thing.

I agree, keep his mouth shut. That would be annoying, no matter how good at blocking out external noise I am.

dizzlmcwizzl
02-04-2012, 06:04 AM
Similar but different situation happened to me last night. Playing contract mixed with a 4.5 guy and two 4.5 women. Anyway, it was fun and games on the court and a lot of trash talking, which is the norm for this group.

During one point, we gave up an easy overhead .... my male opponent started yelling at his female partner to "HIT DIZZ, HIT DIZZ" with the overhead. Anywho, she got so distracted that she hit it into the tape. :)

fuzz nation
02-07-2012, 09:41 AM
To be clear, I am not interested in getting my partner to stop talking. I am interested in improving my concentration so that it doesn't affect me.


For better or worse, pick one shot immediately and hit that shot. That way, what your partner says becomes irrelevant, the position of your opponents won't matter, and you'll have plenty or time to set up and execute an un-rushed overhead or whatever.

Things go kerflooey for many players when they make their first move to the ball in preparation for a certain shot, but then change their minds. Decide what to do with the ball right away and only do that, regardless of what you hear, etc.

Spokewench
02-07-2012, 11:23 AM
I, most of the time, play with women and the group I play with are ALL talkers! They will even get so bad that they talk all the way through your serve preparation, toss, etc. Occasionally, when I am serving I will tell them to shut up cause they go overboard and sometimes you just need to shut them up. But, most of the time, it is all in good fun (although I know sometimes they do it just to mess you up), lots of social chit chat on and on. It used to really get to me, but since I play with them lots, I've sort of gotten used to it and can most of the time tune it out.

It is probably a good thing to learn. For instance, in a tournament last Summer, next to me, two players and an official just got into a bit of a shouting match, and I just ignored it and went on to win the set and match. I was able to ignore them, my opponent was not!

There is only one woman that really irritates me when I play with her. She is one of those people who will say out (thinking the ball is long) just as I am in mid court about to make contact with the ball as a approach volley. I've told her many times, give me more warning not as I am hitting cause I cannot stop when I have committed to the ball just prior to the strike. And, usually, her comment makes me mishit the ball cause I jerk right at the last minute too. She has not learned to just be quiet in this circumstance. Oh well, there are worse things in life!

papa
02-08-2012, 05:55 PM
Well, there is way too much talking in tennis these days and it should be reduced/completely discouraged. If one wants to play at the lower end of things and everyone involves enjoys the ho-ho style thats one thing as long as they don't bother adjacent courts - fine. Howver, many women just can't seem to break the gab routine - its just not tolerated at higher levels - regardless of what some may think.

I don't play with women on a regular basis but I do teach and coach many many. I will stop talking if they start talking or ask for me to repeat something - I'm just not into that type of behavior/attitude and they all know it. Amoung other things I consider it rude and I've had to ask some to leave if they can't quiet down - a coupe have left over the years.

By the way, this isn't something totally associated with women, I've had a couple of men that like to talk a lot also.

rk_sports
02-17-2012, 09:08 PM
Since we're on the topic.. let me point a variation to this... you get a putaway ball and you miss it.. net it or hit out.. then your partner goes... "sheesh".. "OH NOOO!!" .. etc :evil:

Clay lover
02-18-2012, 09:21 AM
There was one doubles partner who would say "relax", "take your time" when I try to hit a shot, when we all know that it will produce the opposite effect :S