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lendl lives
09-23-2005, 11:47 AM
Anyone ever see one? I've been losing close matches and getting really tight. On second serves I start getting the idea I'm going to double fault! ? This only happens when playing equally talented opponents.

Rickson
09-23-2005, 12:03 PM
Anyone ever see one? I've been losing close matches and getting really tight. On second serves I start getting the idea I'm going to double fault! ? This only happens when playing equally talented opponents.
Psychology is voodoo medicine and has no merit in the real world. Don't waste your money and listen to Tom Cruise instead. Seriously, psychologists will just waste your money. Use the less expensive way and ask us for advice.

nswelshman
09-24-2005, 02:09 AM
sports psyche matters not so much as training i reckon

Marius_Hancu
09-24-2005, 04:22 AM
I'd urge you to study a bit on the matter by yourself, then if necessary go to a sports psychologist. You'll be better prepared and use less consultations/money.

Get Serious Tennis and see the sections in the book on mental preparation.

Do a search at this site for "mental" and read the related books. Do some searches at amazon on "mental tennis", the books by Jim Loehr are quite good.

lendl lives
09-27-2005, 01:15 PM
thanks guys. I spoke with a psychologist who is going to referr me to a friend. can't hurt. federer saw a psychologist for a time, I know.

waves2ya
09-27-2005, 01:32 PM
I'll second wholeheartedly Loehr's "Mental Toughness Training for Sports"; very difficult to find but worth the dollars.

Goes without saying you should have read Gallwey's "Inner Game of Tennis" - I think Brad Gilbert's book is good too (Winning Ugly); a lot of psyche in there as well.

lendl lives
10-03-2005, 10:59 AM
i've implemented some of the things the psychologist is has suggested and its making a huge difference. who would of thought. i highly recommend this for someone losing a lot of close matches or losing a lot in finals of tournaments.

Marius_Hancu
10-03-2005, 12:07 PM
I'll second wholeheartedly Loehr's "Mental Toughness Training for Sports"; very difficult to find but worth the dollars.

yes, I thought about it too.

Burt Turkoglu
10-06-2005, 12:52 AM
Psychology is voodoo medicine and has no merit in the real world. Don't waste your money and listen to Tom Cruise instead. Seriously, psychologists will just waste your money. Use the less expensive way and ask us for advice.
.....I couldn't agree more.....also, they'll have you on drugs before ya know it.....

Thanatos
10-06-2005, 05:42 AM
.....I couldn't agree more.....also, they'll have you on drugs before ya know it.....

Guys, please educate yourself on the matter. First of all psychologist (PhD or Psyh.D) don't prescribe medicine, only psychiatrists (MD) can prescribe medicine. Also, there are sub-specialties in psychology such as developmental psychology, industrial psychology, cognitive-behavioral psychology, sport psychology, etc. Don’t just lump them in one occupation.

A sport psychologist main goal is the help the athlete connect the mind and body resulting in peak performance. They deal with neurophysiology, mind-body interaction, developing mental toughness, and visualization.

Almost all top athletes in the world either have personal or team sports psychologist on hand. For example, many NFL quarterbacks (i.e. Donovan McNabb from the Eagles) have sports psychologists that train them on how to visulize a perfect spiral pass, scan the secondary for defenders, while ignoring distractions.

In tennis, what do you thinking CHOKING is? Even top tennis players the world have admitted to choking in matches from one time or another. One element of choking is a lack of confidence during critical points. When you choke your heart-rate and galvanic skin response increases and the body has a tendency to tighten up. Sport psychologists help you with visualization excercises, decreasing heart-rate, and relaxing the body. Imagine if we could all play relaxed like Roger Federer? How much improvement would you see in your game?

But for us regular folks, affording a sports psychologist maybe a questions of how much $ you have in your pockets. If I had the bread and would seriously consider getting one in order to move up to the next level.

lendl lives
10-06-2005, 10:31 AM
Thanatos,
One of the most well written posts I've ever read on this site. You touched on one of the major things this psychologist helped me out with. If you change the way you think about things it can actually effect how you preform. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about...

lendl lives
10-06-2005, 11:07 AM
....matter of fact. I asked Federer what was the most important thing to do to improve and win. He said, "confidence".....and a "good coach". Does confidence not fall under the category of psychology?

Tchocky
10-06-2005, 12:05 PM
Unless you're a top notch pro or have nothing else better to spend your money on...you don't need a sports psychologist. Check out "The Inner Game of Tennis".

lendl lives
10-06-2005, 02:18 PM
Tchocky not everyone has to pay for advice they get.

ShooterMcMarco
10-06-2005, 03:07 PM
oops..........

ShooterMcMarco
10-06-2005, 03:07 PM
http://zonecoach.com/

Jim Fannin used to be a touring tennis pro, and he has his S.C.O.R.E system for getting in the zone. he has a cd-rom dedicated to specific sports including tennis. he is also the sports psychologist for a number of pro athletes including alex rodriguez and randy johnson

lendl lives
10-06-2005, 03:13 PM
the thing a psychologist can help you see is that "terms" as we know them or thougth we "knew" them can be thought of differently. we may think we know about a concept but in actuality we are thinking about it all wrong.

Burt Turkoglu
10-06-2005, 08:52 PM
....matter of fact. I asked Federer what was the most important thing to do to improve and win. He said, "confidence".....and a "good coach". Does confidence not fall under the category of psychology?
....winning breeds confidence......not a sports shrink.....

Mahboob Khan
10-06-2005, 09:33 PM
Even the thought of Sports Psychologist makes me sick. I do not recommend going to a Psychologist, instead:

-- Review your technical game with the help of some coach. At least work at your second serve (kick). There have been some good articles in the last two editions of Tennis Magazines.

-- In practice train the playing patterns on serve, return, rally, attack, and defense.

When you play concentrate on the process not on the outcome. The problems that you mentioned indicate that you are obsessed with results and somehow forget about the process (the things which you might do to win the match).

In the beginning go to your matches with the determination, "today I am going to follow my game plan to see whether I can improve upon my previous loss". "Today I am going to lose but I am going to hit the ball" mentality will make you relax and results will start coming. Do not force the results, let them happen.

lendl lives
10-07-2005, 08:31 AM
If its not for you why even read this thread or post? Just igonre the thread. Some people will benefit from it. Look at the guy who is asking about his "mental game" in the other thread....Connors said 90% of tennis is mental. Only an idiot would not consider the benefits of examining the game from a psychological perspective. There are some pretty challenged people on this board.

Thanatos
10-07-2005, 10:45 AM
Even the thought of Sports Psychologist makes me sick. I do not recommend going to a Psychologist

Why does going to a psychologist make you sick? Have you ever been to one to make that broad assumption? Mental health professionals in general are viewed differently depending on what country you live in. No insult to you Mahboob, but Pakistan has one of the poorest mental health treatment programs in the world according to the World Health Organization. If that’s the case, then I really doubt sports psychology would be recognized in Pakistan sports community.

When you play concentrate on the process not on the outcome. The problems that you mentioned indicate that you are obsessed with results and somehow forget about the process (the things which you might do to win the match).

Concentration and thinking involves processing at the cerebral cortex, which is related to the conscious and unconscious mind. Saying “concentrate” or the phrases you’ve mention may or may not work for all players. Different players process information in their brains differently. That’s where sport psychology can help by finding ways to process and organizing information in your brain better and producing the result in your muscle movements (ie. eye tracking, hand-eye coordination, balance and vision exercises).

For example, coaches used to tell me to “watch the ball”. Great! I’ve been watching the ball for the 6 years and still can’t anticipate the ball to my satisfaction. What I realized was the the word "watch" caused me to just stare at the ball. I couldn’t make the necessary eye - - brain - - legs to work together. Joe Sch told me to work on “focusing on the ball trajectory” and it clicked in my mind. For me the word "focus" meant to be conscious\aware of the projected ball movement. My ball anticipation has increased 25% in the last months. Again, different people process information differently and sport psyhologist can help.

So based on your assumptions, why go to a sport psychologist when you can learn everything from books and magazines.
So based on your assumptions, why go to a tennis instructor when you can learn everything from books and magazines. Silly assumption isn't it?

I’m not recommending that everyone see a sport psychologist. Just don’t be closed minded to the possibilities: You should see a sports psychologist if you meet all the requirements below:
1. Your game has plateau and you’re at a road block.
2. You're thinking about a professional career in sports.
3. You have the cash available.

Rickson
10-07-2005, 01:58 PM
You can't knock Mahboob for disliking the leeches who take athletes' hard earned money by calling themselves sports psychologists. Mahboob is a coach and coaches are the ones players turn to when their games are suffering, not someone who doesn't know the technical aspect of the game. I'd trust Mahboob's tennis tips over some desk monkey's with a PhD, any day of the week.

joe sch
10-07-2005, 02:33 PM
I'd urge you to study a bit on the matter by yourself, then if necessary go to a sports psychologist. You'll be better prepared and use less consultations/money.

Get Serious Tennis and see the sections in the book on mental preparation.

Do a search at this site for "mental" and read the related books. Do some searches at amazon on "mental tennis", the books by Jim Loehr are quite good.

This is good advice.
I would most highly recommend Allen Fox.
He has been one ot the tops in tennis writing, coaching & playing !
He has a PhD in psychology, was an all-American at UCLA in tennis and a top 10 tennis player. I dont think there is anybody else who can match those credentials.
BTW, Allen taught and coached Brad Gilbert. Surprised ?

Good luck not needed, Joe

lendl lives
10-07-2005, 03:16 PM
khan is definately right on in terms of his concept of visualization.

FiveO
10-07-2005, 04:06 PM
We've all seen even the best players in the world show pressure getting to them, loss of focus, mental blocks and the like. We've seen it in baseball where a Steve Sax or Knoblach couldn't throw a baseball to first base. Something they had done since they were 4 or 5 years old without thinking about. How about Dementieva's service toss? Mechanics and visualization or is it something else? Not Safin's type of problems. How many of you saw the Blake v. Agassi match at the Open this year? After Blake had been on that torrid run in the first two sets and when the the match began to turn Blake started to rush between points and during points. It was perceptible. Some other action was going on to cause the reaction on Blake's part. I remember thinking to myself "SLOW DOWN, TAKE YOUR TIME. Play like you did in the first two sets." Agassi has done the same thing for years. When in tight spots he rushes too. That's just one psychological effect that the pressure of competition can cause. These players have all the shots, have won but still feel the pressure and it effects their play. Everyone chokes, tightens up, rushes or responds to pressure. Even on the pro level. Some more than others but they're all effected to a greater or lesser degree.

Juniors, high school and college players, senior level players, league players, anyone who competes and perceives the results to be important to them in some way are effected by pressure. Learning how to manage it through match play comes easier to some than to others. But learning to manage nerves, to concentrate totally for long periods of time or achieve that peak performance state known as "the zone" can be learned over time but are usually the result of trial and error. IMO anything, short of chemicals/medications, that can aid you in reaching a peak performance state and maintaining it over the course of a match, tourney or season can't hurt.

Sports nutrition and weight training in tennis were once ignored even poo-poo'd as unnecessary in tennis. Now they embraced as staples of tennis training. Players rely on coaches for strokes and strategy, learn about training and what they should or shouldn't ingest to reach the best they can be from experts whether in person or through some form of media. Why leave the mind to "self-teaching", trial and error? Even at lower levels the mental game is a large part of excelling on the tennis court. Nerves, belief, concentration, focus, determination, peak performance are all mental skills. Learning them is imperative to compete and win on almost all levels. I feel that anything one can do to shorten that learning curve is advantageous.

I agree with Marius. Find some literature. There are a few tennis specific books on the topic. The top 35 year old in the world a few years ago put out a CD called "Fearless Tennis" which addresses the same subject. I would explore them first.

I've never used a sports psychologist. But unless the sports psychologist is a quack and/or prescribing drugs to "help" I can't see how another qualified person teaching how to manage competition and performance psychologically, can be a bad thing. I would think that the only damage he/she could do would be to your wallet.

Mahboob Khan
10-07-2005, 05:39 PM
Dr. Allex Fox has been a great Davis Cup player, coach, and Sports Psychologist. He has been advising players how to focus on their matches .. how to focus on the process, etc. He has been writing articles for parents to show them their role but then it all changed for Allen Fox when his own son started playing tennis! Read his latest article in September Tennis Magazine. The thing is that before you give advice, you must go through it .. to feel it yourself. I am not against Sports Psychologist because personally I do not need them, I cannot afford them, and we do not have them. Try to use other mediums first as listed above.

Rickson, thank you for your thoughts.

GrahamIsSuper
10-07-2005, 06:37 PM
Dr. Allex Fox has been a great Davis Cup player, coach, and Sports Psychologist. He has been advising players how to focus on their matches .. how to focus on the process, etc. He has been writing articles for parents to show them their role but then it all changed for Allen Fox when his own son started playing tennis! Read his latest article in September Tennis Magazine. The thing is that before you give advice, you must go through it .. to feel it yourself. I am not against Sports Psychologist because personally I do not need them, I cannot afford them, and we do not have them. Try to use other mediums first as listed above.

Rickson, thank you for your thoughts.

Right on, Mahboob! I will say, however, that Loehr does have some positive things to say, but he is also perhaps the most well-known and well-respected "sports psychologists" out there. But, as much as anyone thinks one of these guys is helping you, one reaches a certain point where they cannot be helped in that direction any longer. I mean, eventually you HAVE to play matches to learn how to play matches. It is a necessary evil. It seems that the sport shrinks realize that people, particularly older tennis players (full of pride and new to the game, but also with money burning holes in their pockets) hate losing to people they see themselves as superior to, and will pay money to avoid the session of "lumps" every player must go through before they learn match mentality.

I will say this: I can see the application of a sports psycologist in terms of a player struggling with their anger, it can be, in some cases, a much shorter route and a less painful one at that. However, they cannot replace match experience. Every great player, heck, ANY player who has learned to play tennis will tell you that there was at least a month period of tournament play where they didn't win a lot of matches, and they didn't have any fun, and didn't play at all well. This is a NECESSITY of tennis; you MUST learn how to play in matches, it is totally different from practice.

Burt Turkoglu
10-07-2005, 07:18 PM
.....For all you top 500 ATP Tennis Pros on this board: try a sports psycologist if you're stuck on a plateau....maybe you'll get better....maybe you'll get worse......For everyone else on this board: Get a coach if you want....maybe take lessons....learn stategy.....and just go out and HAVE FUN....that's what the rest of us are out here for....compared to the top 500 in the world, we all suck....okay.....so what does it matter if you win or lose a match in the greater scale of things.....who can name me the 453rd ranked player in the world......when he loses to the 600th player in the world, who cares but those 2 guys anyway......it's tennis....not war.....nobody dies.....strive to get better if you want and you will....tennis is a great game and good fun......you don't need a psychologist for tennis.....tennis IS your psychologist....

Mahboob Khan
10-08-2005, 08:22 AM
I agree with posts 27 and 28. I like the sentence, "Tennis is your Psychologist". Going through all the situations will train and teach you. And "if your money burns hole in your pocket" go see a psychologist afterall they also need business!

And it is better to consult a tennis coach who is also a tennis psychologist such as Jim Lohr. I know Mr. Lohr since he is a PTR member. I have attended his presentations. He is the best in the business and I respect him.

lendl lives
10-08-2005, 11:44 AM
Five O great example- bringing up the Blake match. I thought the same thing.