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rafafan20
02-07-2012, 05:45 PM
So I'm in the semis of my local club's tourney for my age bracket, started unseeded took out two seeds (including #2) on may way to the semis and just have a plain old bad day. Both on the court and then I start thinking too much, what is the best way to fight through a bad day? I automatically start pushing but the mistakes keep coming. Ended up losing 2 and 2 and just never got on track mentally or physically. How do you overcome a bad day, what should be the mindset?

LeeD
02-07-2012, 05:48 PM
Well, the mindset should be ..."what got me here"....
And you cannot overcome it until you have experienced it ....with a loss, unfortunately.
Nobody can ever win until they learn from losing. Meaning....ya gotta lose.

Fedexpress94
02-07-2012, 06:34 PM
Listen to a Taylor Swift song, those always cheer me up when I'm down. But really, when I'm having an off day I just say to myself that this is just a game and it's supposed to be for fun and that usually makes me feel better and even play better.

rkelley
02-07-2012, 08:01 PM
During or after?

During - I try to focus on form, moving to the ball, and hitting it. Between points and at change overs I do the mentalization thing of hitting perfect shots, perfect set-up. If I'm hitting stupid shots or straying from a game plan that I think can work I try to remind myself what my strategy is. If it's just one shot that's not working I might try to come up with a way around it.

After - Go be mad a while and then blow it off. If there was something specifically not working I'll go work on it.

Ducker
02-08-2012, 03:51 PM
Fix your problem and heres how you do it.

Its simple:

There are only 4 reasons you can mishit considering you are using proper technique!

1. racquet face is too open
2. racquet face is too closed
3. Contact is too earily
4. Contact is too late.

If you remeber this you will never get frustrated and the bad day will turn into a normal day.

LeeD
02-08-2012, 04:03 PM
For me, NOT so simple.
I can have a bad day because I'm not moving my feet into position at the right time.
I can have a bad day because I"m worried about my day to day living.
I can have a bad day because my van is letting me down.
There are dozens of reasons that cause me to have a bad day, but face angle and timing are only 4.

5263
02-08-2012, 04:39 PM
Just focus on making shots.
Work with smart targets and be assertive as you go for them.
Try to hit solid and make them have to beat you.
When you feel better about making more shots, leverage that
into winning more points.
and so on

user92626
02-08-2012, 04:54 PM
OP,

I don't think it's that simple that you just check a few things that others suggest here.

IMO, if you're self taught, make sure you've comprehended everything and proved that your understanding works. Then, write everything down as a (long) checklist. When you're off -- usually from not practicing or playing consistently or too tired -- you are doing one or two things not according to the checklist. You just need to review and correct it.

Limpinhitter
02-08-2012, 05:24 PM
Just focus on making shots.
Work with smart targets and be assertive as you go for them.
Try to hit solid and make them have to beat you.
When you feel better about making more shots, leverage that
into winning more points.
and so on

That's pretty good advice. I break it down into focusing on: (1) executing shots one shot at a time, and (2) executing my gameplan one point at a time.

Ducker
02-09-2012, 01:33 PM
I dont care if you grandmother got hit by a train that day. The reason your hitting the ball wrong is one of the 4 things I listed. That check list was given to me by the coach at a very prestigious D1 university mens coach.

Sure leeD you can blame your "bad day" on anything you want in life, but the fact is your still doing 1 or more of those things wrong that is leading to a poor shot and eventually your "bad day". If you want to fix it you've got to know how. You cant be affected mentally if you know how to easily fix your problems.

And to the guy who says "omg what about footwork your list is too simple!", what honestly do you think the poor foot work led too? Yes, its one of the 4 checks I listed. Poor footwork can lead to you hitting late and earily.

You guys im giving you the best advice and you completely shutting it down with lame excuses......

5263
02-09-2012, 01:36 PM
That's pretty good advice. I break it down into focusing on: (1) executing shots one shot at a time, and (2) executing my gameplan one point at a time.

I agree, thanks

Djoker91
02-13-2012, 02:51 PM
So I'm in the semis of my local club's tourney for my age bracket, started unseeded took out two seeds (including #2) on may way to the semis and just have a plain old bad day. Both on the court and then I start thinking too much, what is the best way to fight through a bad day? I automatically start pushing but the mistakes keep coming. Ended up losing 2 and 2 and just never got on track mentally or physically. How do you overcome a bad day, what should be the mindset?

I was having an awful set lost the set 6-2, and surprisingly what helped me was loosening my grip. I try to force that ball to go in when I can't make it land in bounds. Example, I dump 2 shots in the net in a row. Next forehand I get, I'm so determined to clear the net that I hit long. Loose grip on the racket handle, or at least a looser grip then what I've been using, that let's me let the racket do the work, and adding pace and hitting harder and with more spin is much easier. Maybe that's just my way of fixing. Worth a try tho. Hope things work out

Caesar
02-13-2012, 04:03 PM
Cup of concrete.

seattle_1hander
02-13-2012, 04:10 PM
The single most common aspect of "bad days" for tennis players is poor footwork. We've hit too many balls and rallied too many times for our strokes to simply go away. Over-exaggerate movement...look silly even if necessary via a lot of shuffle steps...but just get your footwork right. It even increases your focus.

Djoker91
02-13-2012, 04:55 PM
The single most common aspect of "bad days" for tennis players is poor footwork. We've hit too many balls and rallied too many times for our strokes to simply go away. Over-exaggerate movement...look silly even if necessary via a lot of shuffle steps...but just get your footwork right. It even increases your focus.

I agree. Footwork is a HUGE aspect. Solves a lot more problems then you think! Worked for me many times while having bad games.

kiteboard
02-13-2012, 05:26 PM
Footwork first, then the unit turns and "waiting" for the ball to come into the contact zone. Relax the upper body immed. after shots. Don't try to kill every ball, just the sitters.

sphinx780
02-14-2012, 07:36 AM
That's pretty good advice. I break it down into focusing on: (1) executing shots one shot at a time, and (2) executing my gameplan one point at a time.

I'm on the same page with you and 5263. First thing I thought of when I am having a bad day is to focus on executing one shot. For me, that means focus on hitting my targets and not trying to do too much.

fuzz nation
02-16-2012, 07:53 AM
So I'm in the semis of my local club's tourney for my age bracket, started unseeded took out two seeds (including #2) on may way to the semis and just have a plain old bad day. Both on the court and then I start thinking too much, what is the best way to fight through a bad day? I automatically start pushing but the mistakes keep coming. Ended up losing 2 and 2 and just never got on track mentally or physically. How do you overcome a bad day, what should be the mindset?

The one best thing I ever did for my head in terms of my approach to the game was to read Vic Braden's book, Mental Tennis. While much of the issue of a "bad day" is about mechanical problems that need to be corrected, I believe that the mental side of the equation is at least as important when we need to generally "overcome". This book has been invaluable for me as both a player and also a high school coach - I recommend it around here all the time and a couple of my pals have greatly enjoyed it, too.

I bolded that portion of the first post because I think it's often a mistake to make a fight out of things when our games poop out. Fight yourself and you're rarely going to win. If you think about it, the best you can hope to accomplish there is to beat yourself! Fixate on what you don't want to do and you're bound to keep doing it, right?

Check your expectations of yourself as a tennis player, write them down if you can, and review them to see whether they're in step with reality. This can be a really healthy exercise toward being able to steer away from a meltdown on a bad day. Get comfortable with your mortality and it won't be such a big deal when it sneaks up on you at the wrong time.

I also think that our pals, including Ducker, shared some good technical advice. If a problem with basic mechanics or timing is creeping in and you recognize what it is, you're better off for sure, but when I try to make a fix in this case, I can't actively think my way through my movements. One reason that we practice a lot is so that we can do all the little things in a rally without actively thinking about them.

If my swing feels wrong, I personally need to get my head out of the way, so I'll focus on my feet and maybe the feel of a good early weight transfer. If I'm stuck in the mud with slow feet, I might focus on trying to feel an earlier turn and racquet setup for incoming balls so that my feet unconsciously help to support that early move.

More coffee?...

holytennis
02-16-2012, 08:02 AM
I have lost many matches due to Match fear. Recently i tried to overcome this fear by thinking that i'am going to lose the match, right in the beginning, even before i could judge my opponents level. This stops me from pushing the ball, and makes me take risks and gain my confidence. Try it, it just might work.

Zachol82
02-16-2012, 10:08 PM
So I'm in the semis of my local club's tourney for my age bracket, started unseeded took out two seeds (including #2) on may way to the semis and just have a plain old bad day. Both on the court and then I start thinking too much, what is the best way to fight through a bad day? I automatically start pushing but the mistakes keep coming. Ended up losing 2 and 2 and just never got on track mentally or physically. How do you overcome a bad day, what should be the mindset?

Focus on your stroke mechanics and footwork.

When your mind is playing games with you, don't try to beat it with another mind game. Focus on what actually matters and that is you're doing bad because something is either wrong with your strokes, your footwork or maybe you're just physically off.

The best way to overcome a negative mindset is to have your mind forget about it. However, it's pretty much impossible to consciously try and force yourself to forget or ignore something. Therefore, the next best thing to do is have your mind focus on something else and for good reasons, you should focus on your strokes and footwork when things are going bad.

Whenever you make a mistake, diagnose it. Try to identify if it was a stroke problem. Did you not follow through correctly? Did you hit with bad form? Then try to identify if it is a movement/footwork problem. Did you not get there in time? Did you reach for the ball because you didn't get there in time? Etc...

Goodluck!